1. This week began with a trio of shock departures for major fresh produce industry figures. Neil Sanderson, managing director of Florette, is leaving the company after five years at the helm, while elsewhere, G's Group chief executive Alan Christie also announced he is stepping down.
  2. In the top-fruit industry, chief executive of English Apples & Pears, Adrian Barlow, is giving up the top job and will retire in August this year.
  3. Berry Gardens has donated £3,200 to Cancer Research UK following fundraising events including Great Berry Bake Off, sales of the Berry Gardens calendar as well as a very generous donation from James Crook, sales group manager for Driscoll’s Europe, who won the Berry Gardens Golf Day.
  4. Meanwhile, potato supplier Branston has presented stillbirth and neonatal charity Sands with a cheque for £12,219.35. Of this, £8,000 was raised after 12 Branston employees cycled 100 miles, with other funds raised from cake sales and Christmas raffles.
  5. Seed company Thompson & Morgan has recently launched a new hybrid plant that can produce both aubergines and potatoes for the consumer market. Dubbed ‘Egg and chips’, due to the aubergine also being known as eggplant, the launch builds on the success of earlier hybrid TomTato, which produces both tomatoes and potatoes.
  6. Premium retailer Marks and Spencer said it has become the first retailer to stock mini Hass avocados, marketing them as "perfect for portion control and snacking". The baby fruit, which are around half the size of a regular avocado and weigh 60g, were once rejected for sale for being too small, M&S said.
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