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Costa: Raising the Food Safety Bar for Massachusetts Food Purveyors

Boston, May 2015; Consistent with their ongoing commitment to food safety, Costa Fruit and produce is pleased to announce that it has achieved Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 2 certification.

Click here for Costa's SQF Press Release


Congratulations to Costa’s ...

very own Dave Lamb for being named the
Massachusetts Restaurant Association’s “Salesperson of the Year”!
 
 

Dave Lamb, Sales Operations Director



Dave Lamb, Operations Director for Costa Fruit & Produce, was recently named Salesperson of the Year. He will be honored at the Massachusetts Restaurant Association's 2010 Annual Awards Dinner on March 15, 2010.

Click here for the MRA Awards Dinner Information

Click here to read Dave Lamb's Bio


Costa's Chef, Chuck Leonardo recently appeared on TV Diner's Cookin' with Costa
 
 
Costa's Chef, Chuck Leonardo with TV Diner's, Billy Costa

Recently Chef Chuck Leonardo of Costa Fruit & Produce was a quest chef on TV Diner's Cookin' with Costa. Chuck prepared an Italian favorite called Giambotta with host Billy Costa.

Click here to view the Cookin' with Costa Segment



Ana Costa is Boston's 2009 nominee for the International Grande Dame Award
 
 
Ana Costa with Manny Costa and Mayor Thomas Menino.

Boston 2009: Ana Costa accepts recognition as Boston's 2009 nominee for the International Grande Dame Award. At Les Dames d'Escoffier Boston, she was twice named "Dame of Distinction," and served as Chapter President in 2007-08.

Click here to read Ana Costa's Biography



Mayor Menino honors Costa Fruit & Produce with Boston Green Business Award
 
 
Mayor Thomas Menino honoring Manny Costa.

Boston 2008: "Going Green" is more than trendy buzz words at Costa. Mayor Thomas Menino honored Costa Fruit & Produce with the Boston Green Business Award for their "Greening Our Goods and Services" program.

The Boston Green Business Awards recognize businesses that demonstrate extraordinary leadership and performance related to sustainable environmental practices.

Costa Fruit & Produce's "Greening Our Goods and Services" program is focused on several areas that impact the environment.

Costa's program has resulted in many measurable benefits to the environment. These efforts are estimated to have the environmental impact equivalent of planting 46 acres of trees, saving 55,950 gallons of gas annually and saving 10,438 Trees Annually. Costa says their "Going Green" initiative is always evolving and that they are currently implementing additional recycling procedures as well as exploring other energy conservation practices.

Click here to read the Press Release





Costa's School Nutrition Program IMOVE
hits a Homerun!


June 2009

 
IMOVE in lights at Fenway

Boston, MA; June 19, 2009– IMOVE, Costa ’s child nutrition program that rewards children for making healthy choices finishes another winning season at Fenway.

Currently in fourteen middle schools throughout Massachusetts, IMOVE reaches over 8,000 children everyday with healthy meal options with the IMOVE mantra to ‘Choose Health’. An incentive based program, Children earn raffle tickets for making healthy food choices in their school cafeteria. The healthier they eat, the greater the reward.

With the help of the Boston Red Sox, the IMOVE program finishes this school year with a bang. In a crowd of 36,000, the three top performing IMOVE schools were recognized during the Red Sox pre-game ceremonies on June 19th. The schools were chosen based upon their level of participation in the IMOVE program and the top three were allowed to send a student to represent their school on the field. The schools represented included Salemwood Middle School, Malden MA, Robert H. Adams Middle School, Holliston MA and the Weston Middle School, Weston MA. Each of the students won the day at Fenway by participating in an IMOVE raffle where the students earned chances to win every time they made a healthy food choice.

“ The IMOVE program continues to evolve as we learn more about what kids like and how to incorporate them within school food service operations.” Said Mike Scuderi, Marketing Director, Costa Fruit & Produce. “IMOVE is a great program but it becomes a really fantastic program when it has the ongoing collaboration of the School Administrators working in conjunction with the School Food Service. We simply have to keep in mind that it’s all about the Kids.”
Click here to view more photos of IMOVE at Fenway


Costa Fruit & Produce & MRA Host Food Safety Symposium On Produce
 
 
Some of the main speakers at the Food Safety Symposium on produce include (left to right). Manny Costa, program organizer and president of Costa Fruit & Produce, Andrea Fontaine, lab director of Food Research Laboratories, Lisa Berger, Food Safety Consulting and Peter Christie, program organizer and president of the Mass. Restaurant Association.

Yankee Food Service
By Mike Berger

More than 100 food service professionals including operators, chefs, and food service personnel met at the Waltham Woods Conference Center on Feb. 26 and were told by produce safety experts that minimizing the risk of food borne illness outbreaks is complicated but much of the responsibility of delivering safe product lies in the hands of operators and staff as well as providers and vendors.

Manny Costa, president of Costa Fruit and Produce, and Peter Christie, president and chief executive officer of the Mass. Restaurant Assn. (MRA) hosted an afternoon food safety symposium on fresh produce with the emphasis on food safety from the growers and farmers, all the way up the food service supply chain to fresh produce delivered on the plates.

Notable speakers besides Mr. Costa and Mr. Christie included Bryan Silbermann, president of the Produce Marketing Assn., Michael Jantscke, director of food safety for ProAct, Andrea Fontaine, lab director for Food Research Laboratories, and Lisa Berger, president of Berger Food Safety Consulting.

Mr. Costa said the purpose of the symposium was to minimize the risk of a food borne illness through industry knowledge and education of best practices and to take an indepth look at food safety issues related to produce from the farm to the food service operator.

The agenda for the Feb. 26 symposium discussed a range of food safety issues beginning in the growing area, through the supply chain, and right up to the kitchen handling level.

DISCUSSIONS COVERED SUCH TOPICS AS...

  1. Why it’s important to know where your produce is coming from

  2. What are the food safety gaps in the supply chain - How to identify them and safeguard against them

  3. How safe is fresh-cut produce

  4. What are facility audits and how to use them

  5. What are the inspection standards for Locally Grown produce

  6. What is the produce industry doing to reduce the risk of food borne illness outbreaks

  7. How you can reduce food safety risks in your kitchen

Click here to request a copy of the symposium powerpoint presentation
Click here to read the entire article on the symposium





Greening Our Goods & Services

 
Costa’s New Environmentally Friendly Fleet - Less Greenhouse Gas Emissions,
Less Noise and Less Fuel Consumption.

In and effort to become a more environmentally conscious company, Costa Fruit & Produce has developed an internal program called "Greening Our Goods and Services" The program has been in place for many years and continues to evolve as our company grows.

As a specialist and leader in the produce industry, Costa has supported local farmers and the utilization of sustainable and organic farming methods for more than fifty years. In fact, to help growers run their farms more efficiently, Costa instituted a seven day net payment program for all produce and agricultural products grown or produced in New England by independent farmers and producers.

With that said, please review the many environmentally friendly business practices that are now a part of our day to day operations and our "Greening Our Goods and Services" program.

Energy Concervation:

• New highly efficient warehouse lighting for safety and energy conservation.

• 14,000 sq newly insulated loading dock.

• Fruit and vegetable waste is shipped to local farms for composting and feed.

• Participated in NRM (National Resource Management Co.) and NSTAR program Tracked Kilowatt usage to develop a conser-vation strategy.

• HR Program to conserve energy within the (office) workplace.

Association:

• CERC - Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Conventions (Green Conventions)

Waste Reduction:

• All corrugated boxes are bailed and recycled weekly through JRM recycling

• Tote program- "Enviro-totes" Recycling program for reduction of corrugated waste.

Costa’s Fleet Upgrade:

• Stealth Technology: Lower decibels and lower noise pollution.

• Automatic Start/Stop Technology: Minimizes total engine hours with less fuel consumed and less evacuating exhaust.

• R-404 Refrigerant: Meetsclean air “Zero Ozone Depletion”.

• In Cab Control Technology: Safety Related, no need for driver to climb on cab to check readings.




Quiet on the Set! Camera…Action!

Costa Fruit & Produce makes its television debut on NECN’s restaurant review show ‘TV Diner’ hosted by Billy Costa (No relation)


   
Manny Costa with Pyxis Production Company at Arena Farm in Concord, MA


Boston, MA August 06 – ‘If you are tuning in to dine out’ as they say on NECN’s hit restaurant review show TV Diner make sure you stay tuned for the ‘Fresh Idea of the Week‘ a new TV Diner segment scheduled to start this month.

“When TV Diner approach us about the new show segment, we new it was a natural fit”, Said Mike Scuderi, Marketing Director, Costa Fruit & Produce. “After all, we are the Fresh Idea Company.”

The segment will be a weekly tip on specialty produce items, locally grown produce, food safety, specialty foods and more. Although TV Diner has final creative approval, Costa will act as a content consultant and the segment will be followed by a thirty second spot about Costa.

Many Costa employees are featured in the spot. “Rob Blacker, Jack Flynn and Dan Arredondo all did a great job.” Said Manny Costa, President, Costa Fruit & Produce. TV Diner airs on NECN (New England Cable News) Monday through Friday at 3:30 pm, Saturday at 10 AM and 7:00 pm and Sunday at 6:00 am.

Click here to view Costa’s thirty second spot. You’ll need windows media player to watch.
Click here for a free download.
Click here To learn more about NECN’s TV Diner



Read News Article New Bedford Standard Times



Massachusetts Restaurant Association
Names Manny Costa, Purveyor Executive of the Year


April 2006

 
Manny Costa with Brian Silbernman, President of the PMA
and Peter Christie, President of the MRA



Costa was honored for his leadership, innovation and commitment to the foodservice and hospitality industries in the areas of education, marketing and food safety.


The Packer 25
March 2005

COVER STORY - Profiles in Leadership

The Packer, owned by Vance Publications, is the nation's leading periodical dedicated to the produce industry. Recently, The Packer included a new special section entitled THE PACKER 25 in which they profiled the twenty-five individuals they selected as 'the standard bearers for leadership in the produce industry'. THE PACKER 25 included such industry giants as the President and CEO of Sunkist and Dole. We are proud to say that our company president, Manny Costa, was also chosen. The following is a re-print of the special section.


Manny Costa
Costa Fruit & Produce

He wanted to travel the world…His father wanted him to go to work. And being an English major fresh out of college, Manny Costa admits he "wasn't thrilled" about starting his post-collegiate career in the produce industry.

For a student who enjoyed creative writing, lets face it, fruits and vegetables just didn't provide the innovative environment Costa desired. Not for someone full of ideas. What Costa didn't know, however, was that the industry was behind the times. It was fragmented, and from his perspective, there was room to try new things.

"All of a sudden it got to be an extremely creative environment," he said of his decision to follow his father's advice and join Boston-based Costa Fruit & Produce when he graduated in 1974. "I quickly fell in love with that aspect of it." It's that form of inspiration- the challenge to think differently, to create- for which Costa said his company, "The Fresh Idea Company," operates today.

It all started with his parents, who he said encouraged creativity. As far back as the 1940's, Costa's father asked customers if they would purchase value-added items, Costa said. "If I cut this stuff up for you at no charge, would you buy my cauliflower?" Costa's father asked.

Costa, who became president and chief executive officer of Costa Fruit in 1980, said his father was an innovator - he sought to develop ideas ahead of his time, some of which would take shape decades after his death in 1981.

Fresh Ideas, including new programs, products and sales arrangements, have helped boost sales from about $3 million in 1974 to more that $100 million today. Costa Fruit now supplies about 1,500 products.

Among the innovative initiatives Costa has brought to his company are sales divisions School Pros and Chef Central. The School Pros program concentrates on kindergarten through high school foodservice sales, while the latter provides chefs with produce and specialties.

Costa Fruit has also launched imove, a program that offers students incentives to eat more healthful lunches. Local schools are provided with nutrition information, menu planning assistance and merchandising materials.

An accomplishment Costa seems most proud of is the 1991 co-founding of Pro* Act, a foodservice purchasing collective. It now comprises about 40 distributors and more than $2 billion in annual sales. But beyond "fresh ideas" is a commitment to the advancement of the produce industry, employees and the good of the community in which Costa Fruit operates Costa said. "I get inspired when I think I've done something for the good of the industry, or for the good of the people that I'm associated with," he said.

Joe DeMarco, vice president of strategic distribution, at a company that had purchased product from Costa for more than 20 years, said Costa goes beyond the call of duty as a distributor. In the realm of school dining, for example, Costa attends foodservice shows, produce foodservice calendars, and strives to source different products, said DeMarco, who works for Charlotte, N.C.- based Compass Group North America, a contract feeder that supplies offices, universities, prisons and airports.

DeMarco said Costa is credible and honors his promises. He's down to earth, DeMarco said, but also a shrewd businessman.

Internally, Brad Woodgate, vice president of Costa Fruit, said Costa allows his employees to tackle various responsibilities. He said employees feel like they are part of the company's success.

Whether they are executives or delivery drivers, many of Costa's 250 employees have been with the company for more that 20 years. Last year a driver retired after 38 years with the company.

"We all have goals to obtain, and he kind of lets us get there'" said Woodgate, a 25- year Costa veteran. "He's always there to help people get through situations."

Get to know…


MANNY COSTA, president and chief executive officer of Boston-based Costa Fruit & Produce

BACKGROUND:

Costa's father, who was born in the U.S. but raised on the Azores islands near Portugal, started Costa Fruit & Produce in 1953. Manny was born July 28 of that year.

Costa joined his father's company in 1974 after he graduated from Boston University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in English. He had previously worked at Costa Fruit during summers and holidays. When Costa's father became ill, it was necessary for Costa to take on presidential duties. He became president in 1980, a year before his father died.

Costa has lived in Massachusetts his entire life. He and his girlfriend have been together for more than 10 years.

Costa has served as chairman of the Alexandria, Va. - based International Fresh-cut Produce Association. Costa is also involved with the School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University.

Costa Fruit & Produce is in the Nation Restaurant Association Hall of Fame, has been named Purveyor of the Year, earned the Perpetual Purveyor Award from the Epicurean Club of Boston and was recognized as Innovator of the Year by ID magazine, a foodservice publication.

Costa garnered The Packer's and Produce Concepts magazine's Foodservice Achievement Award in 2004.

PASTIMES:

Costa enjoys reading and writing, and he has aspirations to write a novel- if he ever finds the time. "Those hours of real clarity are so rare, when your mind's free and rested and it seems to go well," he said. "You try to do it when you come home, and your mind's just so beat."

Costa has been writing since he graduated from Boston University. He calls his hobby a "secret passion."



Costa Receives National Produce Award

The Packer, the produce industry’s leading national publication and Produce Concepts Magazine, in conjunction with the Produce Marketing Association, has awarded Manny Costa of Costa Fruit & Produce Company its third Annual Foodservice Achievement award in a ceremony held in Monterey, CA on July 25th. At the awards ceremony, Robb Bertels, Vice President of Vance publishing, heralded Costa’s many achievements, innovations and accolades in advancing the safety and popularity of produce in the foodservice and hospitality marketplace.


Read Press Release



Epicurean Club Of Boston Names Top Awards For 2003

The Epicurean Club of Boston (ECB) last week named Costa Fruit and Produce as its Perpetual Purveyor Award winner and awarded Service of the Industry Awards to Jon Roberts of Pinnacle Food Brokers, John Rudnicki of Tri Mark United East, and Yankee Food Service newspaper.

In other awards, Jeremy DiStefano, CSC, chef at The Country Club of Brookline was named Chef of the Year, and Pongrapee (Pong)Sukapat also of the Country Club, was named Junior Chef of the Year.John Fitzpatrick, CEC, CCE, program administrator of Minuteman Voke Tech will be given a $1,000 grant for student competition and educational programs.

The Costa family have been firm supporters of the Epicurean Club since the 1960s. According to Americo DiFronzo CEC, Epicurean Club president, Costa Fruit and Produce has supported meetings, donated product and even flown in visiting chefs for various programs.

Mr. Roberts and Mr. Rudnicki have been supporters of many charitable programs offered by the Epicurean Club, offered product and donations to various Epicurean events and have served on various organization committees.

Yankee Food Service was praised for its fair coverage of the food service industry with news stories and photos and for "presenting a bright, positive light on the industry" said Mr. DiFronzo.

Chef DiStefano was named Jr. Chef of the Year and has continued his culinary expertise at The Country Club of Brookline along with his other charitable efforts.

Eighty people attended the 109th anniversary of the Epicurean Club President's Ball where the awards were given out Nov. 14 at The Montvale Plaza of Stoneham.



A Bloomn' BBQ

To thank Costa and all its employees for their years of service and dedication, the Outback Steakhouse provided a spectacular down under BBQ at our facility in Boston.

Delicious shrimp, chicken and steak were prepared to perfection by managers representing 13 Outback Steakhouse restaurants throughout New England. Steve Gerish and Don Leaper of Outback also presented Carmen Fuccillo with a first-of-its-kind vendor award for outstanding service. Carmen has been an employee of Costa for over 20 years. As an account manager, he specializes in multi-unit restaurant chains. As you might imagine, we were overwhelmed by their generosity.



Costa Fruit & Produce - 18 Bunker Hill Industrial Park - Boston, MA 02129
Phone: (617) 241-8007 Fax: (617) 241-8718
For Correspondence: P.O. Box 290574 Boston, MA 02129