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Award-Winning Pasta Sauces from Dave’s Gourmet

DG pasta lineA two-time award winner as best pasta sauce in the industry, Dave’s Gourmet has been creating quality food products for 20 years from hot sauces to drink mixes and snacks, to all natural, gluten free pasta sauces.

Created with only the finest all natural ingredients, these sauces from Dave’s Gourmet will remind you of homemade concoctions created with love by little Italian grannies. Filled with fresh flavor and bursting with unique ingredient combinations, there is sure to be a flavor that everyone will love.

With three certified organic red sauces made from certified non-GMO ingredients, these award-winning sauces are hard to beat. Find them at your local grocers, and try some today.

For more information, visit

Fair Trade USA Proposes Change to Its Fair Trade Certification Standard

By Lucas Witman

Fair Trade USA, the leading third party certifier of fair trade products in the United States,
announced a proposal to change the standards that food and beverage companies must adhere to
if they wish to label their offerings as “fair trade certified.” If these changes are implemented, a
company that manufactures a composite product (made from multiple ingredients) will need to
verify that at least 20 percent of the ingredients in that product were produced in accordance with
fair trade guidelines. That product then can carry a Fair Trade USA Certified Ingredients label.
Although these changes are thus far only in the proposal stage and have not yet become policy,
the certifier is already drawing a great deal of attention from specialty food companies who
market fair trade products and from their customers.
Started in 1988 by the Dutch organization Max Havelaar, the fair trade certification movement is
part of a larger worldwide effort to ensure that workers in developing countries are paid a fair
wage and are employed in safe working conditions and that their companies are operating under
a socially and environmentally sustainable business model. Popular fair trade certified food
products include coffee, chocolate, sugar, tea and fruit. Fair Trade USA is just one organization
that certifies products fair trade. Others include Fairtrade International, TransFair USA and Fair
for Life.
According to Sri Artham, Director of Consumer Packaged Goods for Fair Trade USA, the goal
of these proposed changes is both to strengthen and clarify the Fair Trade USA certification
model. If enacted, Artham hopes these changes will help to clarify for consumers the specific fair
trade ingredients that go into a product, enabling companies to disclose when just a single
ingredient is fair trade. At the same time, he also hopes that these changes will strengthen the
overall weight of the fair trade movement by enabling more companies to participate than would
otherwise be able to do so under the current standards.
“That’s our hope, that more companies can participate in Fair Trade and more consumers,”
Artham said. “Our hope is to make things stronger and cleaner.”
According to Fair Trade USA, it is simply too difficult for some companies to use 100 percent
fair trade ingredients in the products they offer, effectively prohibiting these companies from
participating in the fair trade movement under the standards that are currently in place. For
example, a domestic chocolate company may want to use fair trade cocoa in their milk chocolate
bar. However, it might be an insurmountable task for them to source fair trade certified milk and
sugar. If the proposed changes are implemented, such a company would be able to display their
commitment to fair trade principles, even though only perhaps one third of the ingredients in its
product are actually fair trade.
A number of specialty foods retailers thus far are coming out in favor of this proposal,
expressing their hope these changes will open up the fair trade movement to greater participation
across the board.
“I really think the fair trade model, for it to really reach more people, expanding and maybe (in
some people’s interpretation) loosening some of the standards is a good thing that’s certainly going to help more farmers in the end. It’s going to enable the whole system to grow,” said Brad
Kintzer, Chief Chocolate Maker for TCHO. TCHO markets a wide range of Fair Trade USA
certified confections, including chocolates for eating, drinking and baking. For Kintzer,
participating in the fair trade movement not only enables TCHO to develop strong relationships
with the distant farmers that supply the company’s raw ingredients, but it also helps the company
reach out to a socially committed consumer base. Therefore, allowing more companies to use a
Fair Trade USA Certified Ingredients label will benefit both the companies and potentially the
For Gary Guittard, owner of Guittard Chocolate Company, the proposed changes to the Fair
Trade USA certification process are a good thing, because they will provide clarity to consumers
who want to know more about the specific amount of fair trade ingredients that go into a
composite product. “I think anything that opens it up and allows transparency is good,” Guittard
said. “Maybe it might be not good for the long run, but certainly to get fair trade more acceptable
and transparent, so people know that the beans are fair trade, but maybe the sugar isn’t, or maybe
the vanilla isn’t—I just think it makes it more transparent.”
Guittard points out another potential benefit of these changes: an increase in overall availability
of fair trade certified ingredients and products on the market. “The actual reality of it is that
you’ll end up buying more fair trade,” he said.
Still, these proposed changes have not been without some opposition. Criticism has emerged
from many who fear that Fair Trade USA is simply diluting its standards. “The proposed labeling
policy falls below the standards upheld by the larger fair trade movement, and are detrimental to
the very concept of fair trade,” said Ariel Vegosen, a fair trade and social justice activist. “Fair
Trade USA will not require brands to list the actual percentage of content that is fair trade. They
are also eliminating their previous policy on commercial availability, which required brands to
use all fair trade ingredients that are available from a fair trade certified source. In addition, Fair
Trade USA will exclude dairy from its calculations, instead of just water, which is more typical.”
Kerstin Lindgren, Campaign Director for Fair World Project, argues that fair trade certification is
important, because it differentiates for consumers companies that are committed to social justice
and environmental sustainability from companies that may simply be interested in reaching out
to a certain market segment, and thus may be making claims that are otherwise unsubstantiated.
“If something says that it’s fair, then it should really be fair, and that should resonate with
consumers,” Lindgren said. Still, Lindgren is hopeful that most companies that are truly
committed to fair trade principles will not waver in their commitment, regardless of any changes
Fair Trade USA may make to its certification standards. “Mission driven companies see business
as a way to do good in the world,” Lindgren said. “That’s what motivates some of the truly
visionary companies.”This definitely seems to be the case for TCHO.
According to Kintzer, these changes are likely to have limited impact on the way his company
does business. “Really we often say that we’re in a lot of ways beyond fair trade, because we go
beyond the certification, and we do a lot of work with our cocoa farmers on the ground, setting
up fermentation systems, drying systems,” he said. “That benefits the farmer, [and] it benefits
chocolate makers that they’re working with, including ourselves.”

Consumers Looking to Celebrate the Holidays in Style with Gourmet Ready-to-Serve Party Offerings

By Lucas Witman

Although many wait the whole year for the holiday season to begin, there are undeniable pressures that come hand-in-hand with this time of family festivity. There are decorations to be hung, gifts to be purchased, greeting cards to be mailed and, of course, holiday gatherings to be planned. For the host or hostess tasked with gathering friends and family together to celebrate, finding simple, but gourmet, ready-to-serve hors d’oeuvres, desserts and meal accompaniments can be a tremendous help in easing the pressures of the occasion. However, today’s holiday entertainer is not likely to be satisfied with presenting her or his guests with a simple pre-cut cheese or crudités platter from the local deli or a dish of bland, dry sugar cookies out of the box.

For hosts and hostesses choosing to serve their guests simple-to-prepare, ready-made menu offerings, it is important that these items taste neither simple or ready-made. Standards are high, especially during the holiday season, and today’s consumer will only place items on their holiday table that are unique and artisanal and which they are truly proud to present to their fellow revelers. However, the good news is that an ever increasing number of companies are doing their best to create ready-to-serve holiday foods that are truly gourmet.

When it comes to the sheer diversity of products offered that will fit perfectly on any holiday table, it is hard to beat the product portfolio of Robert Rothschild Farm. The Gourmet Cranberry Sauce from Robert Rothschild Farm is the ideal side dish for Thanksgiving dinner. Or serve Cranberry Pomegranate Chutney with a Christmas ham, expertly prepared using the company’s Maple Brown Sugar Ham Glaze. For a sweet treat, the company offers such holiday favorites as Spiced Maple Pumpkin Dip, Pumpkin Curd, Buttery Cookie Caramel Sauce and Peppermint Candy Cane Dip. Or customers can opt for something savory, like the company’s Artichoke and Aged Parmesan Spread, served with Olive Oil and Sea Salt Crackers.

“It’s really nice a lot of pairings that we do. We really thought ahead about what we can do that goes with other products,” said Kim Maalouf, Director of Marketing for Robert Rothschild Farm. “So we did shortbread cookies which are great with our new preserves that we just launched. We did pretzel bread, and the pretzel bread is delicious…It’s great, because you can just dip it into our new cheese dips.”

HolidayUpdate2When it comes to end-of-year gatherings, perhaps the most common party food is the cheese plate. Even here, though, today’s consumer seeks perfection. Tara Kirch, Director of Marketing for Best Cheese Corporation, a leading importer of specialty European cheeses, shared her advice for putting together the perfect cheese plate.

“I try to stick with the flavors of the season,” Kirch said. “Knowing that we’re going to be drinking heavier beers and heavier wines—I’m a big pairing person, so I keep that in mind. The rule of thumb is get a fresh cheese, get a bleu cheese, get a hard cheese. And try to mix the milk. So, try to do a goat cheese, a cow cheese and a sheep cheese. That way you get a really nice variance of cheese across the board.”

Best Cheese Corporation offers a number of cheeses that would fit seamlessly into any holiday gathering. Chief among these is perhaps Melkbus Winter, a truly remarkable raw milk young Gouda from Holland that is studded with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, mace and pepper, all the flavors one associates with this time of year. Kirch recommends pairing Melkbus Winter with one of the company’s harder aged cheeses like their Vintage 3-Year Gouda or Uniekaas Reserve 18-Month Gouda.

“The reason why I [recommend] the aged goudas is that they just stand up to the heartier meals that you’re going to have during that time of year,” Kirch said. “The food shifts. It’s a little bit creamier. It’s a little bit heartier. And those really stand up to the flavors of the season.”

When it comes to dessert, it can be a little more difficult to plan something unexpected for a holiday party, since the expectations are so high that certain sweet treats will be available. However, one can still stick with the flavors of the season while thinking slightly outside-the-box.

Susanne Witte Settineri, President and CEO of Carl Brandt, Inc., recommends looking to German holiday staples in order to find desserts that will impress, but still satisfy holiday cravings. Stollen, for example, is a uniquely German Christmas tradition that will not taste unfamiliar to American palates. “[It is] not to be mistaken with the American fruitcake, although it does have fruit,” she said. “If you have to explain it to someone who has never experienced it, it’s more in the direction of a panettone—panettone being more bread-like and stollen being more cake-like. It is quite delicious.” Witte Settineri also recommends checking out lebkuchen, a German version of gingerbread.

Of course no end-of-year fete would be complete without the appropriate libation. For party hosts wanting to incorporate the latest trends in gourmet cocktails into their events, the answer can be as simple as pulling out the appropriate gourmet mixer. Started in 2010 in Brooklyn, Emily Rose Syrups offers artisanal small batch cocktail syrups in flavors as unique as lavender lemon, tamarind, three chili and rose.

“It makes entertaining really easy. Not only are they really unique flavors, they make your drink special, just by having it,” said Emily Butters, co-founder of Emily Rose Syrups. “Raspberry makes a really festive red color drink for the holidays, and the cardamom clove has that sort of spice cookie sort of flavor.”

The best thing about Emily Rose Syrups is how they simplify the task of tending bar. “If you’re having a crowd, you can just mix up a pitcher of whatever cocktail you’re going to serve, and then it takes all of the work out of the drink mixing,” Butters said. In addition, these syrups are perfect for family gatherings where not everyone is drinking alcohol. By combining these gourmet mixers with just a few simple ingredients, one can craft a festive non-alcoholic mocktail, perfect for toasting in the New Year.

ADAM Tea Offers Holiday Specialties for Tea Lovers

ADAMTea-HUSA great addition to any holiday drink assortment, ADAM Tea offers an extensive selection of black, green, flavored and spiced teas, both loose leaf and in conventional tea bags, as well as in pyramid tea bags. Offering only the purest, high grade green and black Ceylon teas, ADAM Tea is a leader in the Sri Lankan tea industry. The company uses only teas that have been awarded the Lion Seal of purity by the Sri Lankan Tea Board.

ADAM Tea’s introductory line features 17 kinds of green and black teas, packed in true double chamber tea bags with strings in envelopes. There are 25 bags in each premium, gold foil and embossed 50-g. box.

Making its products even more appealing to retailers, ADAM Tea offers tea training, POS and promo materials, in-store demos and samples to those looking for marketing assistance.

For more information, contact ADAM Tea by phone at 888.725.0365 or by email at Also, visit the company online at

Ruby Bay Wild Salmon Jerky Line Extension for Holiday

AcmeSmokedFish-HUSRuby Bay® offers an exclusive range of all-natural wild salmon jerky products that are ideal for gourmet enthusiasts and healthy activists looking for a shelf stable, ready-to-eat, high protein snack that is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. The 1.25-oz. packs of Peppered and Teriyaki Salmon Jerky were recently joined by a 1.25-oz. pack of Orange-Ginger Salmon Jerky. The three flavors are now also available in 0.6-oz. single serve packs of Grab-N-Go Salmon Strips.

Ruby Bay’s salmon jerky is naturally smoked using premium wild-caught King salmon from the pristine waters of Alaska and slowly smoked over cherry and alder wood. All Ruby Bay wild salmon jerky products are delivered in stadium display boxes to allow a more convenient and efficient merchandizing option. The company’s salmon jerky is currently sold in a number of prestigious retail establishments, including Whole Foods, Wegmans, Zabars and more.

For more information, visit or call 718.383.8585. Ruby Bay® is a registered trademark of Acme Smoked Fish Corporation.

Craft Beverage Expo Seeks Dynamic Speakers for Inaugural Event

The team behind Craft Beverage Expo, a first-of-its-kind trade show and conference, geared to the independent producers of craft beer, wine and spirits, issued a call for speakers for its inaugural event. Show organizers will tap industry professionals for their expertise and insight into relevant, timely issues in the multi-billion dollar burgeoning craft beverage industry. The event will be held May 6-8, 2014 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, Calif.

Experienced craft beverage-related practitioners who can provide and speak to presentation topics with a well-defined focus and demonstration of “take home” value for conference attendees are encouraged to submit proposals. Sessions will be determined based on submissions received, but subjects should be related to the post-production side of the craft beverage industry and be thought provoking, interactive and collaborative. Those interested can apply on the official Craft Beverage Expo website at The deadline for proposals is August 26.

“The Craft Beverage Expo provides a unique, targeted and important professional opportunity for those selected to participate as speakers,” said Kellie Shevlin, Executive Director of the Craft Beverage Expo. “No other trade show or conference brings together all three segments of the craft beverage industry in one place or offers presenters unmatched exposure to the growing craft beverage market and all of its producers.”

Unlike other events, the new Craft Beverage Expo will offer craft beverage producers across all market segments, real solutions tailored to the size and scope of their individual operations, specifically as it relates to business, sales and marketing. A greater emphasis will be placed on helping each attendee find sustainable competitive advantages in areas other than cost and volume.

The three-day event will showcase best practices, new business models and provide the latest information on new government regulations impacting the industry. The conference will include a variety of session topics specifically focused on post-production, ranging from general management to brand identity, distribution to industry trends. The Craft Beverage Expo will also provide exhibitors unlimited opportunities to provide new ideas, products and avenues for craft beverage producers to stay competitive and gain access to new markets.

For up-to-the-minute information on Craft Beverage Expo, visit Also stay connected with Craft Beverage Expo 2014 on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Summer Fancy Food Show Breaks Records

The 59th Summer Fancy Food Show broke records in exhibit space and attendance. At the end of the show, North America’s largest trade event for the specialty food industry, there was another record when exhibitors donated the most food ever to City Harvest, the show’s longtime charity of choice. This year marked the Summer Fancy Food show’s return to New York after two years in Washington, D.C.

The 2013 show featured 354,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space filled with 180,000 specialty foods and beverages from more than 1,500 U.S. exhibitors and some 1,000 from around the world, including first-time pavilions from Bulgaria, Switzerland, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

Buzz was strong throughout the show. “The quality of the buyer who has come by has just catapulted. Balducci’s. Wegmans. Target,” said exhibitor Peggy Shannon of Cincinnati-based Queen City Cookies. “It has been the best show ever.”

Show highlights included the keynote address by Marcus Samuelsson, the internationally acclaimed chef, owner of Red Rooster in Harlem and The New York Times bestselling author of Yes, Chef. He also presented the 41st annual sofi Awards for the outstanding specialty foods of the year, and awards for the Outstanding Specialty Food Retailers of 2013.

“New York is the birthplace of the Fancy Food Show and its home. Our return to the city coincided with unprecedented interest in specialty food and the passionate entrepreneurs who create it,” saidAnn Daw, President of the Specialty Food Association. “With the record showing, all indications point to another strong year for our industry.”

Alef Sausage: All-Natural, European-Style Sausage in America


By Hannah Hollins

Thirteen years ago, Alef Sausage company was created with the aspiration to produce European-style sausage in the United States. “We couldn’t find it before,” says Alec Mikhaylov, owner of Alef Sausage. Mikhaylov came from Donetsk, Ukraine in 1992, where he was a construction engineer. “All my life in Ukraine, I loved to cook things, to create.” Upon his arrival to the United States, Mikhaylov longed for an authentic taste of Europe—one he knew he could create. He switched professions in order to “do something about making a product that [he] couldn’t find in the stores.”
Initially, the brand operated production in a 2,000 square foot, USDA-inspected plant in Mundelein, Ill. It was at this location that Alef Sausage got permission to sell through other retailers. The retail connection eventually led to a relationship with a New Jersey distributor that brought Alef Sausage products to customers in New York and to customers on the West Coast. In 2005, Alef Sausage moved to a bigger, 16,000-sq. ft. plant, and renovated it with new equipment, including some of the best technology in the world. In 2010, Mikhaylov bought another acre of space to build out an additional 20,000 square feet. Today, the plant is about 36,000-sq. ft.
With every step, the company’s goal remains the same: to make a very good product, of the best quality, with authentic spiciness and without any fillers or artificial products. Alef Sausage’s commitment to the all-natural label satisfies a current demand. “People don’t want to eat chemical preservatives, sodium nitrate, sodium phosphate or sorbates,” says Mikhaylov. The company’s product line uses no additional fillers or artificial colors, no chemical products or preservatives and no liquid smoke. The meats are smoked with wood chips in an all-natural process.
Alef Sausage offers a number of different varieties of fully cooked sausages, dried shelf-stable salamis and bolognas made from pork, chicken and veal, as well as well as several other deli meats. All of the company’s products are ready-to-eat. “We were the first in the U.S. to make an all-natural, cooked, dried salami,” says Mikhaylov.
Today, the Alef Sausages brand is shipping 300,000 pounds a month to customers across the country. Alef Sausages directly ships its products to 40 states throughout the United States, and it also ships to distributors who then ship to stores outside that area, including to Canada. “I decided to create something new for my new country,” says Mikhaylov, “And so far, it’s working.”
For more information on Alef Sausage and the company’s product line, visit or call 847.867.2402.

Favorit Peach Mango Preserves


Favorit, a leading Swiss company, offers Peach Mango Preserves, a unique, all natural product. These preserves are a delicious highlight in the popular Favorit product line. Each 12.3-oz. jar contains 52 percent natural fruit. All nine luscious jams in the Favorit line are packaged in an eye-catching way, with the contents clearly visible through attractive, clear labels. Additional flavors available within the Favorit line include Blueberry, Orange Marmalade, Raspberry, Strawberry, Apricot, Red Cherry, Forest Berries and Strawberry Rhubarb.

SRP: $4.19
Number of Jams, Jellies and Preserves offered: 9
Favorit Preserves, imported by Carl Brandt, Inc.