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COMPANY PROFILES

Sumo Citrus key to Suntreat’s success
Suntreat, based in Lindsay, CA, is a medium-sized naval shipper, sending branded citrus such as Sumo Citrus (also known as Dekopon), Oro Blanco grapefruit and Gold Nugget mandarins, along with naval oranges and other citrus varieties around the country. The company works with approximately 150 grower families on more than 9,000 acres, and supplies millions of cartons of fruit each year.  “We sell about five million packages on a yearly basis,”... Read more
Zuhlke benefits from Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference
Kurt Zuhlke, president of Bangor, PA-based Kurt Zuhlke & Associates Inc., and his daughter, Angela Zuhlke, once again teamed up to host visitors to its booth during the 2017 Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference, held Jan. 5-8 in Savannah, GA. The company, which has exhibited at the conference for many years, is a leading innovator and developer of packaging, with a specialty in polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, packaging. The company is fully... Read more
Major expansion on tap for Farmer’s Best
After years of testing different growing areas, in 2017 Farmer’s Best will be taking a large step toward a strong foothold in summertime Mexican vegetable exports. The firm is now approaching its goal of shipping consistent volume and quality vegetables throughout the calendar year. Leonardo Tarriba, the CEO of Farmer’s Best International LLC, located in Rio Rico, AZ, said the Culiacan, Sinaloa-headquartered firm will be shipping from a new packinghouse... Read more
Actions speak very loudly in describing Agromod’s quality control
tapachula, chiapas, mexico — Armed with a sharp knife, a tiny woman patiently crouched, stalking each heavily-laden papaya plant like a hungry, prowling, young lioness. She slowing circled to study all options in choosing from the lowest Maradols, which are the first to ripen among the bulbous clusters. All of the fruit was green. But she carefully sought the fruit that was beginning a color break that would perfectly suit the long trail from Mexico’s... Read more
Love and Health hustling in Puebla
palmar de bravo, puebla, mexico — Little surrounding Guillermo (Memo)Nieto is traditional. The name of his company is G Love. But he works with his brand name, Love and Health, to adorn company jackets, shirts and signage. An ebullient Buddha sits amid the company logo. “I’m a free spirit and serious. It’s a weird combination. Normally free spirits don’t go through with what they say,” noted Nieto, who comes from one of the... Read more
AMHPAC: ‘Maybe it’s time to change our name’
 culican, sinaloa, mexico — Given the association’s increasingly diverse interests in advancing Mexico’s horticultural production and exports, “maybe it’s time to change our name,” said Alfredo Diaz. AMHPAC is Mexico’s only agricultural association with a national reach, according to Diaz. AMHPAC is an acronym that roughly translates as the Mexican Association of Protected Horticulture. Of course serving the protected... Read more
The birth and evolution of the organic produce industry was and continues to be consumer-driven. Today the organics’ category is a significant force in fresh fruits and vegetables. In some generations, including millennials, it is integral. And this group is committed to raising their own children on organic foods. But the lifestyle has also quickly spread throughout other generations whose goal is to live longer healthier lives. Leading producers, like... Read more
Dole has long been a leader in the production and sale of organic bananas and pineapples, and in 2016 it added that expertise to new offerings in its organic line of value-added salads. Bil Goldfield, director, corporate communications for the Dole Food Co., recently engaged in an email interview with The Produce News outlining the firm’s effort in the organic category and the reasons behind the program. “Clearly, industry stats prove that organic is... Read more
Watsonville, CA-based Lakeside Organic Gardens LLC was founded by grower-owner Dick Peixoto in 1996. He started the company with a specific commitment to grow only fresh organic produce, and holds firm to it more than ever today. “Lakeside Organic Gardens has always been 100 percent organic,” said Peixoto. “Our commitment is to the highest quality of our product, to the environment, to our employees and also to our customers.” Peixoto walks... Read more
A commitment to produce organically is also a commitment to sustainability and to being a good steward of the land. Gilroy, CA-based Christopher Ranch has been growing high quality garlic for over 60 years. Today the family owned and operated company lays claim to being the largest grower, packer and shipper of California garlic for the fresh market. In the mid-1990s the company began producing organic garlic, and its line of organic specialty items has grown... Read more
Homegrown Organic Farms, an organic fresh produce sales and marketing company, represents more than 3,500 acres of organic produce based in Porterville, CA.  “We represent growers into the marketplace and we are there as a service to our growers to take their fruit to the greater market in the U.S., Canada and internationally,” said Scott Mabs, chief executive officer, of the company. “We roughly have 80 different growers that we work with.... Read more
An expanding organic produce supplier, Covilli Brand Organics Inc., prospers based on a long family history. Alex Madrigal, sales manager of the firm, said his parents worked together in the late 1970s to start a conventional produce farm, Circle Produce Co. Inc., in the Imperial and Mexicali valleys. Madrigal is the son of Susan Covilli and the late Terry Covilli. Susan Covilli is a Mexican-American who grew up in California’s Imperial Valley. Terry Covilli,... Read more
Produce departments are blossoming way beyond the shelves now dedicated to fresh organic fruits and vegetables. At FreshPro Food Distributors in West Caldwell, NJ, there is also a growing demand for organic pressed juices and cider. Director of Produce Sales Joe Granata added that also pushing the growing demand for organics are home meal delivery players, such as Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, because their customers want the option. “This is changing the... Read more
Melissa’s Produce, a leading U.S. variety distributor of specialty and organic fresh produce headquartered in Los Angeles, has a couple of new products for its customers. The company is now offering a variety pack of essential organic vegetables in a convenient two-pound tote consisting of one of each: green Bell pepper, red Bell pepper, cucumber, zucchini, carrot, head of garlic and a shallot. This field-fresh mix is the perfect quantity for an on-the-go... Read more
Advanced Transportation Services Inc., the Visalia, CA-based logistics company that opened an office in Salinas, CA, a year ago, has seen business expand from that new location. Robert Silva, a partner in the company who admits that the opening of the Salinas branch had as much to do with his desire to move back to his roots as anything else, said the decision has proved to be a very good one after spending two-and-a-half years in Visalia. “It’s been... Read more
On Jan. 10, Capital Logistics LLC Chief Operating Officer Michael Feig told The Produce News that the company was currently moving a lot of freight out of the East Coast — especially New Jersey and Delaware — for many of its clients. The company is based in White Plains, NY. “During the winter and spring we haul a lot of imported produce out of this region for our partners,” explained Feig. “Capital Logistics is very strong in... Read more
LatinoTrading growing quickly in Mexico
Sergio Paz’ long road to today began in Cuba. His career rooted there in 1986 as he became involved in international produce trade. From Cuba he became involved with trade in Mexico and in 2005 he moved to Mexico, from where he exported to Europe and the Caribbean and imported onions from Chile. The owner of LatinoTrading LLC began exporting to the United States in 2008 and in 2011 he moved to Miami, where he would be surrounded by the familiar Cuban culture. “Our... Read more
Vision Import Group making its growers a priority
In keeping with its mantra, "Your direct link to the grower," Raul Millan, executive vice president of Vision Import Group, recently visited the company's Mr. Squeeze-branded lemon grower in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Vision imports from this area in Mexico from April to January each year. "In order to fill customers' needs year-round we have a highly successful Spanish lemon program that is available during Mexico's gap in production," Donald Souther, senior vice president... Read more
Profitable vegetable production is only part of Santa Amalia’s plan
comonfort, guanajauto, mexico — For most of us, an encounter with a dead mouse is not an experience that we choose to prolong. And, actually, Alvaro Nieto prefers to kill nothing. But in the interest of having a bio-diverse farm, he has trapped mice, then sliced open tiny stomachs to learn what he can about the animal’s habits. This example is a tiny slice of all Nieto has done to have his 300-acre vegetable farm produce safe food while adding to the... Read more
Nava Co. targeting Cancun-to-Europe flights to expand mango market
mexico city — In March and April, mango growers in Chiapas, Mexico’s extreme southern point, are squeezed in the North American market, due to oncoming seasonal volume from competing growers in Colima and Nayarit. Atop facing new volumes, growers endure a freight rate disadvantage -— at least for fruit headed for Texas. But, Chiapas mango grower-shipper Rafael Nava is eying Cancun. So many Europeans flock to the sand, sun and fun that there are... Read more