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Pink Ribbon Produce, a unique retail program committed to the fight against breast cancer, recognized program participants for their donations and commitment to the program since its inception in 2005 at the recent Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Summit in Anaheim.
To date, Pink Ribbon Produce and its participants have raised over $300,000 towards the fight against breast cancer.
During the recognition event, Mark Stevens with Meijer stores presented five-year participation awards to Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, Dole Packaged Salads, Highline Mushroom, Sunset Produce, Paramount Citrus and Southern Specialties. The top donor award for 2012 went to Paramount Citrus.
Awards for participants in Harris Teeter’s Pink Ribbon Produce Program went to Country Fresh, Inc., Dole Fresh Fruit Company, Fresh Express and Santa Cruz Berry Farming Co. for five-year participation. The top donor award went to Sunlight International Sales, Inc.
Sunset Produce received the five-year participant and the top donor award for Price Chopper’s Pink Ribbon Produce Program.
In addition to the award ceremony, one of the produce industry’s own, Maggie Bezart, was acknowledged for her many years of support of the program on behalf of the Chilean Avocados Importers Association. This year, Bezart’s commitment to this cause became personal when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although she was unable to attend the event, she shared a message:
"I would like to thank AugustineIdeas for their continued support and all the vendors that have participated in Pink Ribbon Produce. I encourage more to join the movement. Produce is a key portion of our daily plates, and is recommended by oncology not only for prevention, but to boost the immune system during chemo therapy. So retailers, turn your departments pink by suggesting vendors change their packaging in October, and join us to help find a cure for this disease that will affect eight out of ten women. And for all the strong women in the produce industry that are currently fighting or are survivors, remember: as you walk this journey of the unknown, live in the moment, dance the dance, and take the time to live and love yourself. Everyone is special. Everyone is a survivor."
The educational fundraising program Pink Ribbon Produce, managed by AugustineIdeas, partners the three grocery retailers with produce suppliers to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. (NBCF). Stores direct shoppers to the participating produce suppliers with a Pink Ribbon Produce icon on posters and point-of-sale signs at the product. In addition to buying selected products to support NBCF, customers can text “Pink HT” for Harris Teeter, “PINK M” for Meijer or “Pink PC” for Price Chopper to 80077 to make a donation.
“Pink Ribbon Produce brings together grocery retailers, produce partners and consumers to support a cause that directly impacts so many women across the United States,” said Debbie Augustine, chief executive officer of AugustineIdeas. “This program gives everyone a tangible way to make a difference, while helping to fund treatments and research for a cure.”
Through various fundraising activities, including Pink Ribbon Produce, NBCF provides funding for research, educational programs and mammograms to women across the country.
Produce partners supporting this year’s Pink Ribbon campaign include:
Andrew & Williamson, Roma Tomatoes, Meijer
Bushwick Potato Commission, Potatoes, Price Chopper
CH Robinson, Melons, Tropicana Mangoes and Tomorrows organics, Price Chopper
Country Fresh, Inc., Fresh Cut Fruit, Harris Teeter
Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc., fresh pineapple, Price Chopper
DNE, DNE Citrus, Meijer
Dole Fresh Fruit Co., pineapples, Harris Teeter
Dole Fresh, packaged salads, Meijer
Earthbound Farm, organic salads, Harris Teeter
Fowler Packing, grapes, Price Chopper
Fresh Express, packaged salads, Harris Teeter
Gourmet Trading, asparagus, Price Chopper
Gurda Gardens, onions, Harris Teeter
Highline Mushroom, mushrooms, Meijer
Hines Nut Co. (S&T Brokerage), Nuts, Harris Teeter
Mastronardi Produce (Sunset Produce), Sunset Campari Cocktail Tomatoes, Meijer &
Naturally Fresh, Inc., dressings, Harris Teeter
NatureSweet, cherubs, Meijer
NewStar Fresh Foods, LLC Bagged Spinach Meijer
Paramount Citrus, oranges, Meijer
Santa Cruz Berry Farming Co., strawberries, Harris Teeter
Santa Sweets (c/o Procacci Bros.), grape tomatoes, Price Chopper
Southern Specialties, fresh beans & asparagus, Meijer
Sunlight International Sales, Inc., grapes, Harris Teeter
The Dole Food Co., packaged salads, Price Chopper
Turbana, bananas, Price Chopper
Westmoreland, tomatoes, Meijer