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Giorgio Fresh’s Leone says ‘Bring it on!’  regarding the future of organics
Organic mushrooms are an important category in the call for organics today. Major producers, such as Temple, PA-based Giorgio Fresh, have expanded their lines and are increasing production to keep pace with the growing demand. Mark Leone, vice president of sales, said the company’s organic line now includes whole and sliced Shiitakes, Royal Trumpets, Beech and Maitake mushrooms. “This is, of course, in addition to Giorgio Fresh’s white and brown... Read more
Spice World looking forward to good supplies for coming year
Headquartered in Orlando, FL, Spice World, a leading grower and distributor of an extensive line of herbs and spices, specializes in garlic. The company offers all of its garlic items, including its highly popular Squeeze Garlic and Squeeze Ginger in organic options. Louis Hymel, director of purchasing and marketing, said the company supplies both conventional and organic products to a wide range of customer categories, including retail, wholesale, foodservice... Read more
Rainier Fruit Co., headquartered in Yakima, WA, continues to maintain a laser-sharp focus on providing its customers with the best possible eating experience. “We are currently marketing organic apples, pears, cherries and blueberries,” said Andy Tudor, director of business development. “Our shipping season on organic pears is August to March, apples are August to June.” Tudor pointed out that meeting this goal means that Rainier will always... Read more
Ever since the Giumarra family planted its first seeds more than 90 years ago, the Los Angeles-based Giumarra Cos. has made it its mission to provide great produce and focus on bringing consumers the finest fruit all season long. Through its Nature’s Partner brand, the company’s philosophy revolves around partnering with customers, growers, the land and its fruits. And that dedication can be seen in the steady growth it has experienced, especially in... Read more
Commitment to quality is key at Jasmine Vineyards
Jon Zaninovich, president of Jasmine Vineyards Inc. said the company is expecting an increased volume of grapes owing to new plantings and better production conditions. “Weather has been excellent in helping to produce a quality crop,” he told The Produce News in late July. Sara Diaz displays some of the premium table grapes grown at Jasmine Vineyards Inc. in Delano, CA.The company, headquartered in Delano, CA, was established in 1947 by cousins Martin... Read more
Forward thinking keeps Pacific AgPak ahead of curve
Customize and innovate are words to live by at Pacific AgPak, headquartered in Watsonville, CA. The company is a leading provider of plastic consumer packaging and accessories for shippers and grocery retail use. A number of individualized services are also available in the areas of inventory control and custom labeling. Dave BaumThe mushroom industry has benefited from Pacific AgPak’s forward thinking. “Pacific AgPak has the most extensive offerings... Read more
Giorgio Fresh seeing more interest in Royal Trumpet mushrooms
More Mushroom varieties than whites and browns are finding their way into home kitchens today — spurred, no doubt, by the fact the entire category is experiencing a strong surge in demand, and consumers want to experience new and interesting flavors. Bill Litvin, vice president of sales and national account manager for Giorgio Fresh Co., headquartered in Temple, PA, said that while Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms still lead the variety sales category, Royal... Read more
Fall berries a strong seller for Cal Giant
California Giant Berry Farms, headquartered in Watsonville, CA, anticipates a sweet fall berry season and one that will help consumers achieve goals of healthfulness and good eating. Kristin Kleiber has already begun working her magic in California Giant Berry Farms’ test kitchen, developing exciting back-to-school and holiday recipes. Photo courtesy of California Giant Berry Farms. Cindy Jewell, vice president of marketing, said the fall berry season is... Read more
Primavera puts personal touch on Calif. apple crop
For more than 20 years, Primavera Marketing Inc., headquartered in Linden, CA, has worked with a small but dedicated grower network to get California’s apples to the marketplace. “California’s best apples are grown in the unique climate of the San Joaquin Delta,” the company’s website states. “Warm sunny days, cool breezy nights and rich sandy loam soil produce the finest apples in California.” President Rich Sambado said... Read more
In addition to the strong marketing and promotional programs developed to increase the consumption of apples in the nation, the U.S. Apple Association is tasked with maintaining data on apple production and conditions. The coming year’s crop outlook is traditionally revealed at the annual Apple Crop Outlook & Marketing Conference. The 2016 event will be held on Aug. 25-26 at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago. USApple Director, Regulatory and Industry Affairs... Read more
In October 2015, Rice Fruit Co., headquartered in Gardners, PA, put into use its new controlled atmosphere storage building. The cutting-edge facility contains 10 controlled-atmosphere rooms, large enough for 35,000 bushels of apples each, or about 1,500 bins. The non-ammonia refrigeration system is much more energy efficient compare to other storage facilities. The company now has a total of 41 controlled atmosphere rooms. “In addition to continuing... Read more
In September, the New York Apple Association’s marketing, public relations and nutrition staff is banding together to promote Eat Cleaner, Feel Better — Take the Big Apple Salad Challenge campaign. Jim Allen, president and chief executive officer of the Fishers, NY-based association, said salads aren’t a traditional way to eat apples, but the group is working to change that. “We’re doing this by bringing the unique crunch, flavor... Read more
Hudson River Fruit Distributors, a leading Northeast apple distributor located in Milton, NY, is now in its fourth generation of family ownership and management. Alisha Albinder, operations manager, and fourth-generation family member, told The Produce News that the company’s new packingline with a Durand-Wayland high-speed bagger went into operation last summer, and has been a tremendous success “It is more efficient and more accurate on bag weight,”... Read more
In Michigan, fresh-market apples are quickly replacing old processing varieties. As for apple varieties planted in Michigan between 2010 and 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service indicated that Michigan planted 4,700 acres of apples, numbering 3,286 million trees. Except for 145 acres, or 107,000 trees, which are categorized by USDA in an “other” category, as of 2014 these plantings were one of 17... Read more
Two new additions to the sales staff of All Fresh GPS will provide the Michigan apple grower-packer-shipper with a big boost, according to Scott Swindeman, the vice president of the company. In July, Nick Mascari became All Fresh GPS’s vice president of sales. In an August written statement to The Produce News, Swindeman said, “Nick has spent nearly a decade working for some of the largest companies within the produce industry, working in sales, marketing,... Read more
For Core Farms LLC, a new color sorter and a new water dump for the grading line are “very dramatically” upgrading Core’s grading capability before harvest this fall, according to Roger Kropf, the owner of the Hartford, MI, apple grower-packer-shipper. Beyond this, “we are kind of excited about the crop and the quality” of Michigan apples to be shipped this fall, Kropf said. Michigan’s heavy apple harvest volume will begin in... Read more
Topaz, EverCrisp and Smitten. These three apple varieties hold a key place in the plans of Belleharvest Sales Inc. The apples not only have strong marketing names but attractive characteristics that should make them a marketing success, in the view of Chris Sandwick. Sandwick, the vice president of sales and marketing for the Belding, MI, grower-packer-shipper, described Topaz as a “vibrantly acidic apple” that was originally bred in the Czech Republic.... Read more
An exciting change is on the horizon at Sterling Hill Farms, one of the Skagit Valley’s producers of field-fresh potatoes. “The single largest change in our business this season is that we’ve entered in to a long-term sales agreement with Valley Pride Sales LLC to be the exclusive sales agent for all of our fresh market potatoes,” said Tony Wisdom, one of the company’s three partners. “Valley Pride is one of the Skagit Valley’s... Read more
Nickey Gregory is not one to sit on his laurels. His company is celebrating 16 consecutive years of growth, and a major reason for that is the Gregory approach to infrastructure: Keep it new, keep it current, stay a step ahead. That applies to packinglines at the Atlanta headquarters, which is currently undergoing a major expansion, a sparkling new website ( and marketing image makeover, and the fleet of state-of-the-art trucks the Nickey... Read more
Botsford & Goodfellow continues  solid relationship with Walchli Farms
For more than 50 years, Botsford & Goodfellow Inc., headquartered in Portland, OR, has partnered with Walchli Farms, located in Hermiston, OR, to bring fresh potatoes to the marketplace. “John Walchli is an amazing man, a true pioneer, and above all a dear friend,” said Salesman Paul Kern. “At 82 years of age, he shows no sign of slowing down.” John Walchli who has been dedicated to Oregon’s potato industry since his arrival in... Read more