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The Produce Reporter Week in Review – May 22, 2020

- General News
Greg and Pamela discuss the roller coaster $40 million contract awarded to Ben Holtz of California Avocados Direct in the USDA's Farmers to Families Food Box program, the controversy unfolding from the selection process, and how the majority of contracts are business as usual.

Natural Delights promotion yields new director of sales

- General News
Effective June 1st, Neil Merritt will enter the role of Director of North American sales from his previous role as Director of New Business Development at Natural Delights.

Strong summer supplies for watermelons

- General News
With the unofficial start of summer this weekend, the unofficial fruit of summer already has good supplies with the domestic season just getting going.

Chelan Fresh feels well prepared for food box contract

- General News
Chelan Fresh Marketing, Chelan, WA, sees its participation in USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program as a way of giving back.

LGMA members to use FDA report to prevent future outbreaks

- General News
California leafy greens growers are pledging to incorporate findings from a report issued today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration into its ongoing process to strengthen required food safety practices on farms.

FDA issues report on fall 2019 Romaine lettuce outbreaks

- General News
As part of our ongoing efforts to combat foodborne illness, the FDA released the findings of an investigation into three outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses that occurred in Fall 2019, all tied to romaine lettuce, that suggests the proximity of cattle to produce fields may have been a contributing factor.

USDA responds to United Fresh’s food box program questions

- General News
Tom Stenzel, United Fresh CEO, issued a statement regarding USDA response to food box questions.

USDA terminates avocado grower’s $40MM food box contract

- General News
Ben Holtz, whose small produce company won a $40 million USDA Farmers to Families Food Box contract, said USDA terminated it on May 20.

Retailers ask appeals court to overturn California worker classification law affecting truck drivers

- General News
The sweeping new law codifies and expands a 2018 California Supreme Court ruling that established the state’s “ABC test,” which sets strict criteria that must be met for a worker to be classified as an independent contractor.

Bay Area companies partner in USDA food box program

- General News
Distribution will encompass the entire Bay Area region from the North Bay to Monterey, and the Central Valley from Sacramento to Fresno.