October 2021: Podcast Month In Review
Let’s take a look back at our October 2021 Podcast Episodes.
October on The Produce Moms had a big focus on managed varieties, particularly in the apple industry. Older varieties are becoming less and less popular as consumers are yearning for specific textures and flavors. While they can take upwards of decades to hit the market, managed and branded varieties are becoming more abundant in produce. This month The Produce Moms also highlighted a company that is making efforts to give back in the form of scholarships to support the secondary education of children of employees. Finally, October featured a sustainability-first farm making waves, 100 years after being founded.
With the introduction of managed varieties, consumers can find precisely the taste and texture they’re looking for at the grocery store. These varieties are introduced thanks to years of research, experimentation, and cross-pollination. Older varieties like Red Delicious and Fuji were once staples in the apple industry, but are now fading out, making way for the competitive market of managed varieties.
Many farms to this day continue to be family-owned and operated. Monterey Mushrooms wanted to find a way to give back to their employees that they truly consider family as well. By providing scholarship money to children of employees, Monterey Mushroom CEO Shah Kazemi felt like it was important to give back to the people that truly make Monterey Mushrooms what it is.
The field of managed varieties can be a competitive one, especially with apples. With over 60 different varieties trying to make it to grocery shelves, retailers usually hold only around six, making it quite the competitive field. When T&G markets their Jazz and Envy apples, they’re trying to convey something buyers will remember to keep them coming back time and time again.
Duda Farm Fresh Foods was started with sustainability in mind as Andrew Duda chose to begin with celery, as it’s 100% usable from the leaves to the bottom of the stock. 100 years later, Duda Farm Fresh Foods is continuing that legacy with internal initiatives to gain contributions from every facet of the company.
October 2021 Podcast Episode 183
An arduous process, with a delicious payoff
Bringing new varieties of produce isn’t as simple as it might sound. SweeTango® has been at the forefront of apple varieties thanks to their cross-pollination “experiments”. The process of creating a new variety is quite long, taking upwards of 20-30 years to hit the market. Now, SweeTango apples are grown in New York, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Washington and even Canada.
Not only does SweeTango want to bring tastier products to market, but the company as a whole is working on reducing its carbon footprint by selling apples in the same region that they are grown. Along with that, they’re also reducing the amount of plastic growers use in packaging and shipping.
October 2021 Podcast Episode 184
Giving back to employees that make the company what it is
Going into its 50th year in business, Monterey Mushrooms has truly been a “family first” company from the beginning. To give back to their employees, Monterey Mushrooms rewards children of employees scholarships to help them further their post-secondary education.
Both of Ana Mejia’s parents have worked with Monterey Mushrooms for over 25 years and, as such, she knows the company culture of Monterey first hand. To her, Monterey has felt like home. Thanks to the Carl Victor Fields Scholarship, Ana has gained assistance all four years of earning her Degree of Science in Business Administration. Ana attests that she wouldn’t have gained the opportunities she’s had without the help from Monterey Mushrooms
October 2021 Podcast Episode 185
Catering to consumer wants with managed varieties of apples
Another company bringing managed varieties of apples is T&G with their Envy and Jazz apples. With the Jazz having a balance between sweet and tart, and Envy with a specific aroma and texture, T&G apples are catering to the wants of consumers as older varieties are fading away.
While their main focus has been to bring delicious varieties to the market, T&G Global has also been working on advanced technologies in picking and packing. Their newest systems can even see into fruits in the packing line to point out imperfections before they advance. Other advancements include drones for crop management and a machine that blows leaves off of trees to expose more sunlight to the fruit.
October 2021 Podcast Episode 186
Transparency and sustainability are leading the way
Duda Farm Fresh Foods began the Growing Greener Generations Team within the company to assure every department was involved in further initiatives of sustainability within the company. Recognizing that consumers want transparency from companies, Duda is focusing on more sustainable packaging that either uses less plastic or includes recyclable material. In order to educate consumers as to how it’s used, Duda has also included “how to recycle” labels so consumers know what to do with their packaging to keep the cycle going.
The next step for Duda Farm Fresh Foods is compostability. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as creating compostable packaging; it has to reduce its environmental impact, be affordable, and keep food safety and shelf life in mind. Duda Farms hopes that the technology will catch up with their needs soon to help have a lesser impact on the environment.
To see a list of all our past episodes, visit www.theproducemoms.com/podcast