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12th Annual Oregon Cheese Festival

Oregon-inspired culinary events, including a farmer’s market-style artisan food, beer and wine festival, will kick off with the “Meet the Cheesemakers and Winemakers Dinner” at the Oregon Cheese Festival during the third weekend in March. For tickets go to

To commence the festival, a sumptuous meal introducing guests to participating guild cheesemakers will be held Friday night at the Inn at the Commons in Medford, Oregon on March 18 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. The dinner is held for the benefit of the non-profit 501 (c) (6) Oregon Cheesemakers Guild. Each course will spotlight a cheese made by one of the festival’s artisans, paired with a local wine or beer. The special guest and Master of Ceremonies for the dinner will be Gordon Edgar, author of both “Cheesemonger: a Life on the Wedge” and “Cheddar.” Edgar is the Head Cheesemonger for the San Francisco Rainbow Grocery Cooperative and has been a leader within the specialty cheese industry for more than 20 years. He is widely celebrated for his friendly, down-to-earth approach to the art and science of cheese.

Saturday, March 19 – Festival

Oregon Cheese FestivalAt the festival on Saturday March 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., thousands of visitors will sample cow, goat and sheep cheese from Oregon creameries, including Pholia Farm, Ancient Heritage Dairy, Oregon State University, Ochoa Creamery, Tillamook County Creamery, Willamette Valley Cheese Co., Fern’s Edge Goat Dairy, Oak Leaf Creamery, Rivers Edge Chevre, Briar Rose Creamery, Face Rock Creamery, Portland Creamery, Rogue Creamery, and many others.

The Oregon Cheese Festival will be open to the public Saturday, March 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rogue Creamery, 311 North Front St. (Hwy. 99), Central Point, Oregon. Held under two large tents, 15,000 square feet of space, at Rogue Creamery’s Central Point facility, the twelfth annual festival will invite guests to shake hands with cheesemakers and other artisans. There will also be baby cows on site to showcase the beginnings of great milk producers!  Activities will also be provided for children including games, activity sheets, coloring, face painting and more. “The farmer’s market format will present an interactive experience between makers and visitors, giving everyone an opportunity to talk about the product, the process and learn each individual cheesemaker’s story,” says David Gremmels, President of Rogue Creamery. “It’s a way to truly be connected with the source of the cheese being presented.”

Southern Oregon and other local culinary artisans and beverage providers who are expected to participate include Lillie Belle Farms, Gary West Meats, Applegate Valley Artisan Breads, Ledger David Cellars, South Stage Cellars, Serra Vineyards, Caprice Vineyards, Willamette Valley Vineyards, David Hill Winery, La Brasseur Vineyard, 30 Brix Winery, Wandering Aengus Ciders, Hot Lips Soda, Clear Creek Distillery, Bend Distillery, Wild River Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing and Rogue Ales. Samples and /or sales will be offered at each booth.

A $15 entry fee includes tastings and demonstrations; tickets purchased at the door will be $20. Entry tickets can be purchased in advance at .  In addition, a $10 wine, beer and spirit tasting fee is available and includes a commemorative glass with the Oregon Cheese Guild logo. For more information, visit the Oregon Cheese Guild website at, call Rogue Creamery at 866.396.4704, or visit The festival would not be possible without the generous support of the city of Central Point, Travel Medford, and the Dairy Farmers of Oregon, Oregon Department of Agriculture, the Oregon Economic & Community Development Department, USA Pear Bureau, Rogue Ales, Wandering Aengus Ciderworks, Culture magazine, Cheese Connoisseur magazine, and the members of the Oregon Cheese Guild.

Novipax Unveils Pad-Loc Fresh CO2-Generating Absorbent Pad

Pad-Loc® Fresh™ from Novipax is an absorbent pad that generates carbon dioxide (CO2) inside food packages to help create an environment that is unfavorable for microbial growth on fresh and processed meats, poultry, seafood and other food products. Used as a tool in an effective modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) strategy, Pad-Loc Fresh enables fresh and minimally processed packaged food products to maintain visual, textural and nutritional appeal while also helping to extend the shelf life of fresh food products without the need to add chemical preservatives or stabilizers.

We are extremely excited to be launching Pad-Loc Fresh,” said Novipax CEO Bob Larson. “Pad-Loc Fresh is not only the latest product innovation from Novipax, but it also promises to take food presentation and safety to a whole new level.”

Pad-Loc Fresh incorporates the same construction and features as the company’s flagship Pad-Loc pad, but goes a step further by integrating a granular agent that releases CO2 when moisture is absorbed into the pad. This material also provides a much more consistent release of CO2 than powders used in other pads.

Pad-Loc Fresh is an FDA-approved product, which allows for sale of the product in both the USA and Canada.

For more information on Pad-Loc Fresh, and all other Novipax pads and trays, visit

FreshOne Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

This January FreshOne welcomed the new year by celebrating its tenth anniversary. FreshOne was founded in 2006 with the commitment to provide consistently fresh, delicious, high-quality foods to retailers nationwide. The company work with its partner suppliers to provide custom, fresh food solutions as both a product producer and direct store distributor.

FreshOne’s unique logistics capabilities include a new fleet of temperature-controlled trucks and the latest logistics technology to ensure the most streamlined and fresh processes possible for every client on every delivery. Customers are able to manage each step of the process through FreshOne’s proprietary web based order management system, which makes the process of providing fresh food to customers and maximizing profits easy for retailers. FreshOne continues to implement the most rigorous safety and freshness standards to generate strong sales results based on turnkey solutions for all of its customers.

“We truly value our customers and thank them for their continued confidence and trust in our solutions. These past 10 years have been rewarding as we fulfill our purpose while adhering to our core values. Our recent entry into the grocery and higher education channels leads us to believe the next 10 years will be even more exciting,” said FreshOne President Don Janacek.

During 2015 FreshOne experienced a record year for sales and profits. Matt Yost, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, attributes this growth to FreshOne’s ability to maintain an innovative line of fresh, prepackaged grab-and-go and home meal replacement products, data-driven solutions that increase the customer’s bottom line and a custom distribution network that gets products to retailers quickly, efficiently and cost effectively. The research and development team is constantly working on new and innovative products to introduce to the market, including health-oriented items as well as seasonal items that are on trend with consumer demands and regional preferences. “Whether the goal is to attract premium customers, discount shoppers or someone in between, FreshOne builds programs that are the right fit for the retailer who wants to do fresh grab-and-go in a world-class manner,” Yost said.

FreshOne products are now available in major convenience chains, supermarkets and college campuses across the country. This year FreshOne will be commissioning a new fleet of trucks with a brand-new look in addition to hiring new sales personnel.

Alimentaria Trains Its Eyes on American Market

By Lorrie Baumann


Alimentaria demoThe Alimentaria Hub, part of the next edition of Alimentaria, which takes place on April 25-28, 2016 at Fira de Barcelona, will be one of the most strategic spaces for fostering innovation, business collaboration, competitiveness and the dissemination of knowledge in the food sector. The activities at the show will be based around six core themes: distribution and retail, CSR, internationalization, R&D&I and branding, nutrition, and marketing and communication. There will be new product launches as well as conferences, presentations and consumer trend analyses. The show will also include a center for business meetings and export opportunities and networking sessions to foster entrepreneurship.

Alimentaria expects to attract more than 5,000 North American trade professionals to Barcelona this April. For 2016, Alimentaria will be structured into five shows, encompassing the main food and drinks markets: Intervin (wines and spirits), Intercarn (meat and meat products), Restaurama (foodservice products), Interlact (milk and dairy products) and Multiple Foods (all kinds of confectionery, preserves, oils and premium products).

While most of the show’s exhibitors are Spanish companies, the United States is a strategic market for them. In response, the show – one of the largest European food shows – is going all out to attract more representation from North America, including hosting 800 international buyers, which includes those from the U.S. Part or all of the travel expenses will be paid for those hosted buyers, who must agree in return to have 10 to 12 business meetings with exhibitors, and the show’s management will organize those appointments, said Meritxell Puig, Director of International Expansion for Alimentaria Exhibitions.

The show attracts about 140,000 attendees to see the wares of about 4,800 exhibitors, of which 70 percent are from Spain. The thousand or so exhibitors from outside Spain represent 63 countries. Puig noted that the show’s managers are particularly looking for American importers, distributors and brokers to attend as well as representatives from large chain specialty retailers. Puig expects that the products to be seen at this year’s show will include a great variety of functional foods, products that correspond to gastronomic trends, healthier options and authentic traditional foods.

The show will also feature the Alimentaria Hub, a 4,500 square meter space at the center of the show that’s devoted to innovative products as well as a business meeting space and the conference sessions. Many of the sessions will be conducted in English, according to Puig. “If you want to export, you have to speak English,” she said.

The educational activities will include an entire seminar on reaching the halal market, which is growing rapidly in Europe, with more countries sourcing food from abroad to bring in for Muslim customers. Meanwhile, Spanish producers are racing to get halal certification for their compliant products so they can sell into that market in countries that include Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, all of which have significant Muslim populations, Puig said.

The Alimentaria Hub will play a key role in encouraging companies to internationalize their business thanks to the opening of the Export Service Counter, a service for exhibitors who want to venture into foreign markets for the first time. This new program involves experts in all the formalities necessary to take these first steps in reaching foreign markets, from insurance companies and consultancy firms to chambers of commerce and financial institutions.



The Cheese Guide is Here


Click the cover image above to be taken to The Cheese Guide, a Gourmet News publication.



La Quercia’s Speck Americano Wins a 2016 Good Food Award

La Quercia founders Herb  & Kathy Eckhouse added a fourth Good Food Award to their shelf this month, this time for Speck Americano, prosciutto that is lightly cold smoked over apple wood. On January 15, more than 800 people gathered to pay tribute to 176 Good Food Award Winners of 2016. By the majestic Golden Gate Bridge on the San Francisco Bay numerous farmers, chefs, journalists, and activists united to celebrate exceptional food crafters including luminaries Alice Waters, Nell Newman and Slow Food Founder, Carlo Petrini.

La Quercia calls its  award winning Speck Americano “a charcuterie board crowd pleaser.” La Quercia prosciutto is aged for nine to 12 months then cold-smoked over apple wood, adding the evocative aroma of the open fire to the deep sweetness of the meat. The producer recommends pairing La Quercia Speck with hard cider, a wide range of beer and wine, and almost any cheese, as well as wrapping it around fruit, grilled vegetables, or grissini for an easy happy hour bite. Made with pork that is raised humanely on family farms in Iowa and central Missouri without the use of antibiotics. Ingredients are pork and sea salt — no nitrates or nitrites added. Sold at specialty markets across the nation and available via mail order:

BIOFACH Prepares for 2016 Show

Organic food is being dished up again! From February 10-13, the international organic sector is once again preparing a magnificent spread: the menu ranges from raw materials from throughout the world to the full diversity of the organic product ranges and innovative new products, to exquisite and inspiring products from the newcomers and “new blood” on the market. Main ingredients: 100  percent organic quality and enjoyment!

More than 2,400 exhibitors are expected at BIOFACH, the world’s leading trade fair for organic food, and VIVANESS, the international trade fair for natural personal care, in 2016 – over 200 of whom are expected at VIVANESS. The shows will be held at the Exhibition Centre in Nuremberg, Germany.

Wynn’s Market to Offer Home Delivery, Store Pickup Service

Digital Foodie and Wynn’s Market, a grocery retailer, have signed a partnering agreement to open up a home delivery and store pickup service at two locations in Florida. Wynn’s Market will use Foodie’s personalized online grocery platform to provide its customers a modern online ordering service.

Wynn’s Market will deploy’s cloud platform that includes product data, branded and customized website and Foodie’s fulfillment tools for efficient order collection, store pickups and home deliveries. The heart of the service is Foodie Core that connects to Wynn’s Market’s large inventory and enables behavioral recommendations for building strong consumer connections that increase loyalty.

Agreement to Keep Collington Distribution Center in Maryland

Teamsters Union leaders, elected officials and representatives of Safeway announced an agreement to stop the closure of the Safeway Collington Distribution Center in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The agreement will save more than 700 Teamster warehouse jobs and add an additional 25 jobs at the center.

The agreement also paves the way for possible expansion in the future as Safeway’s parent company, Albertsons, continues to grow its footprint on the East Coast.

C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., the firm that operates the Safeway distribution center and employs its workers, originally planned to move its warehouse operations to Pennsylvania, which would have displaced more than 700 workers, most of whom live in Prince George’s County. Under the terms of the agreement, Safeway will take over operation of the Collington Distribution Center and current C&S employees—represented by Teamsters Locals 730 and 639 in Washington, D.C.—will become Safeway employees.

In two separate votes, Teamsters members voted overwhelmingly in favor of an agreement that preserves their jobs. Local 730 members voted 205-18 and Local 639 members voted 135-4 to approve the agreement. The new collective bargaining agreement with Safeway guarantees no outsourcing of jobs during the term of the contract which expires in May of 2022.

“We are very pleased to know that, through unity, anything is possible,” said Robert Washington, a Local 730 shop steward who works at Safeway.

In an October letter, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa called upon Robert Miller, the CEO of Albertsons Companies, Inc., which recently acquired Safeway, to enact a moratorium on the closures.

Maryland State Senator C. Anthony Muse and former State Delegate Aisha N. Braveboy, Esq., also urged C&S and Safeway to recall the notices sent to employees stating that layoffs would begin the week before Christmas. The layoff notices were delayed until mid-February, allowing time for all parties to work together to find an alternative to the closure.

“This agreement allows skilled employees to continue to work for a company that they loved and sacrificed for, some for more than 30 years,” said Ritchie Brooks, President of Local 730. “The key to this is that everyone banded together. Labor, political leaders and the community all came together to show Safeway our solidarity.”

Local and state officials have pledged nearly $1.5 million in financial incentives to keep the warehouse in the county through the term of the collective bargaining agreement.

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