AgroFresh Solutions Opens New Innovation Center in Fresno

AgroFresh Accelerates Growth Plan with New Facility in Central California

News Release

AgroFresh Solutions, Inc.—a global leader in produce freshness solutions— has opened its Innovation Center in Fresno.

In addition to advancing its core post-harvest technologies, AgroFresh’s R&D and Technical Service & Development Center in Fresno will drive innovation in coating and packaging solutions, antimicrobial products, and furthering AgroFresh’s data-driven FreshCloud™ platform.

The Innovation Center will be led by a highly skilled team of post-harvest physiologists with a strong focus on developing solutions and servicing specialized crops such as citrus, table grapes, kiwifruit, avocado, berries, and broccoli.

“Innovation and crop diversification is central to our success, which is why we continue to invest in our innovation centers,” says Ann Beaulieu, vice president of R&D and regulatory at AgroFresh. “We strategically chose to open this office in Central California because this location enables us to expand our services to a broader range of crops while positioning our company for long-term growth.”

The newly-opened center is divided between a conventional office space and laboratories with capabilities to solve challenges, partner with customers, and break new ground across post-harvest biology, plant pathology, and analytical chemistry. The center will also accommodate growing commercial and operational teams.

Learn more about AgroFresh’s current job openings by visiting their career portal.

Kroger Backs off “Net 90” Payment Plan to Produce Shippers

Produce Industry Gets Praise for Unified Voice on the Matter

News Release

The California Fresh Fruit Association is pleased with Kroger’s recent announcement that produce shippers will not have to comply with its new “Net 90” payment plan.

California Fresh Fruit Association President George Radanovich stated, “We appreciate Kroger’s acknowledgment that the ‘Net 90’ payment plan didn’t work for the produce industry. We stand by our position that Kroger’s original push to implement its plan was wrong and illegal.”

To force suppliers to forfeit their rights under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA), an act created specifically to protect the perishable fresh fruit industry, was unconscionable and should never have been proposed.

Radanovich continued, “We would like to commend the fresh produce industry for coming together as a unified voice for our industry. Today we held the line on an important issue.”

Radanovich concluded, “As I’ve stated before, the fresh produce industry has been a good partner to Kroger; we appreciate that Kroger remembered that partnership and fixed the mess it created.”

Free UCCE Online Training to Increase Food Safety and Protect Natural Resources

UCCE On-Line Training Helps Growers Safeguard Their  Produce Fields

By Pam Kan-Rice, Assistant Director, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

 

On their farms, growers are active stewards of the land, protecting soil quality and water quality as well as supporting wildlife by preserving their habitat. At the same time, fresh produce growers must ensure that their crops are free from pathogens that can cause foodborne illnesses.

To help growers and food safety professionals achieve all of these important goals, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) has launched a free online course.

“Actions that farmers take to protect food safety may affect natural resources, and conservation practices may affect food safety,” said Mary Bianchi, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, who oversaw design of the course.

The intent of the UCCE online training is to demonstrate that communication between food safety professionals and growers can help to achieve a balance between food safety and sustainability.

“Our co-management course will help food safety professionals better evaluate the risk of conservation practices,” said Bianchi.

“For example, cover crops attract beneficial insects, help control soil erosion and improve soil quality, but they may attract wildlife,” she said. “In the course, we demonstrate frank conversations between food safety auditors and growers about strategies for minimizing the potential risks of crops being contaminated by animal feces. Growers can often provide existing examples, such as monitoring programs or temporary fencing that excludes wild and domestic animals from produce fields.”

The course also provides growers with tools to evaluate their strategies for managing food safety and sustainability.

“After the training, growers and auditors will be better prepared to engage in realistic and frank discussions of co-management strategies used in crop production” Bianchi said.

The free UCCE online co-management course and related resources are online at UCCE San Luis Obispo County website.

This project was funded by a $39,650 grant from the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

A video describing co-management practices from farm to fork can be viewed online at “Co-Management of Food Safety and Sustainability in Fresh Produce“.