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Calavo on trend with bags and exports
The incredible rise of the avocado continues to show itself in many ways, including the increased popularity of bagged avocados in the U.S. marketplace and a growing demand for fruit in the export market. Rob Wedin, vice president of fresh sales and marketing for Calavo Growers Inc. in Santa Paula, CA, told The Produce News that his firm continues to add bagging capacity at its operations to keep up with that demand. “The sales of bagged avocados have gone well... Read more
G&R Farms remains thoughtful planner about future
As a 100-percent, family-owned-and-operated, fully integrated grower, packer and shipper in the industry — not to mention one of the oldest — G&R Farms, based in Glennville, GA, has a strong commitment to consistency and honesty. Walt Dasher, co-owner of G&R Farms, said the company is very thoughtful planners when it comes to determining the direction of the future. “The wrong kind of growth can be very harmful if managed the incorrect... Read more
Florida peaches offer excellent option for citrus firm
Florida Classic Growers has a long and rich history, dating back more than 90 years to 1924 when the Dundee Citrus Growers Association was formed. Today, Dundee CGA is one of the largest fresh fruit cooperatives in the Florida citrus industry, and it has expanded its product line beyond Florida-grown citrus to include peaches, blueberries and imported citrus. Al Finch, president of the co-op, told The Produce News that the citrus greening issue that has plagued... Read more
Christopher Ranch provides strong Southeast presence from Pompano Beach
Christopher Ranch, based in Gilroy, CA, has been growing high-quality garlic for more than 60 years. Due to an increasing rise in business, the company opened an office/warehouse in Pompano Beach, FL, in 1997. The reason being, the company decided it needed a closer facility to ensure service to customers on the other side of the country. “It became clear that we needed to be more responsive to our customer base in the Southeast,” said Patsy S. Ross, marketing... Read more
Southern Specialties’ spring line of high-quality produce now in strong demand
Southern Specialties’ Pompano Beach headquarters is a hub for imported specialty fruits and vegetables from the Americas. Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development, told The Produce News that the company is perfectly aligned to offer some of the most highly sought-after produce. “Southern Specialties has 28 years of expertise growing product in the Americas,” said Eagle. “That expertise is extended in our logistics abilities. We bring product into... Read more
Honeybear brings first organic Chilean Honeycrisp stateside
While much of the United States battles floods, snowstorms and later winter weather conditions, in Chile’s perfect apple growing climate, Honeybear Brands orchards have been in full production, working around the clock to pick, pack and ship the company’s first ever organic Chilean Honeycrisp crop to the United States. “Ten years ago we started our mission to bring the very best tasting Honeycrisp to national retailers year round regardless of the season or the... Read more
HoneySweet key to J&D onion program success
J&D Produce Inc. targets onion lovers with its proprietary, branded HoneySweet onion variety. Jimmy Bassetti, president of J&D, explained that there are people who see onions as a commodity. And then there are onion lovers. For the lovers, “Our HoneySweet onion has been tearless for nearly 15 years and our customers are loving it. The HoneySweet has a mild, sweet taste and a bright yellow color,” said Bassetti. “We’re seeing our sales volumes continue... Read more
Italian specialty citrus now available at John Vena Inc.
The first shipments of Italian specialty citrus to the East Coast for the 2018 season have arrived, just in time for spring promotions. Container loads of Sorrento lemons and Tarocco blood oranges shipped directly from Italy into the Port of New York are expected to continue through April and into May. John Vena Inc., based in Philadelphia, has been importing and handling Italian citrus for more than a decade, and the company is thrilled to see another season off... Read more
Bland Farms Remains a Leader in Vidalia Onions
Being based in Glennville, GA allows Bland Farms to be at the root of the Vidalia sweet onion industry, and the company currently represents half of the entire Vidalia volume and has the biggest controlled-environment storage capacity in the industry. It’s a long way from its humble beginnings of 50 acres. “Vidalias have helped us become who we are today. We expect another strong Vidalia season for Bland Farms and we continue to market year-round,” said Troy Bland,... Read more
Pure Flavor setting new heights in product line, packaging
Leading greenhouse grower and shipper Pure Flavor, headquartered in Leamington, ON, continues to ship an extensive variety of greenhouse-grown tomatoes, peppers cucumbers and more. Chief Marketing Officer Chris Veillon said eggplants will be coming back in to season later this spring. PF-Georgia Update-4-14Feb2018Pure Flavor’s greenhouse project in Fort Valley, GA. Pure Flavor’s greenhouse project in Fort Valley, GA.“Our tomato line is extensive,” noted Veillon.... Read more
NatureFresh continues expansions and increased efficiencies
Leamington, ON-based, NatureFresh Farms markets year-round greenhouse Bell peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers, as well as organic Bell peppers and cucumbers. Kara Badder, marketing project manager for the greenhouse producer and shipper, said the company is currently shipping from multiple locations. NatureFresh Farms’ tomato mix.“Both our Canadian and Ohio greenhouse production facilities are supported with shoulder season supplies from Holland, Spain, Israel and... Read more
Westmoreland Sales/Top Line  expanding, increasing production
Westmoreland Sales-TopLine Farms, a leading greenhouse grower headquartered in Leamington, ON, also has a distribution center in Taylor, MI, and a sales office in Park Ridge, NJ, providing extensive North America coverage. Westmoreland Sales-TopLine Farms’ produce in top-seal and recyclable poly packaging.Jimmy Coppola, account and marketing manager, said the company continues to promote its recyclable packing. “We are continuously revamping our packaging... Read more
With its growers adding groves, Coast Tropical is anticipating that its Mexican volume of mangos will increase by about 20 percent this year. That was the view of Isabel Freeland, vice president of the San Diego, CA-based firm. “We are going to be bigger this year,” she said. “We’ve added another packing house in Chiapas. Right now we are also operating in Oaxaca and on March 7, we will open up our packing house in Guerrero.” Freeland said the early season fruit... Read more
Robinson Fresh continues to grow mango program
In 2017, Robinson Fresh claims to have been the second largest importer of Mexican mangos, and they are anticipating following up that success with even more volume this season. “This year we are adding new growers in key regions like Oaxaca and Sinaloa and increasing our supply plan with our existing growers by between 8 and 20 percent each,” said James Watson, commodity manager for the company. Robinson Fresh claims to be the second largest importer of Mexican... Read more
Flavor King Farms enjoys strong citrus season
Flavor King Farms has moved from Nogales to Rio Rico, with expanded warehouse and office space. The development reflects the growth of the firm’s Mexican Valencia orange business. Flavor King is a grower, packer, shipper, exporter and distributor of fresh and processed citrus. Enrique Gracia, the Flavor King president, is part of a family operation operating a citrus packinghouse in Hermosillo, Sonora. That packinghouse was recently “pretty much overhauled” with... Read more
GreenGate Fresh makes coleslaw easy for foodservice
Continuing to build a product line that brings value to customers, GreenGate Fresh is now offering a fresh-cut coleslaw kit for the foodservice and deli industries. The Western-grown cabbage is backed by a 100-year farming heritage and the support of Fresh Avenue, the national sales team for GreenGate Fresh. “The chains that I’ve worked with notice a significant difference between ready-made and freshly prepared coleslaw,” said Jamie Shipley, Southeast regional... Read more
Peppers Plus pleased with this Bell pepper season
Timing wasn’t on Bobby Astengo’s side a year ago. He had just renamed his Bell pepper distributorship to Peppers Plus LLC. And then the market fell out of bed for Bell peppers — and about any other produce item shipped from Mexico — or by Florida competitors. Fast forward to January 2018 and Astengo enthusiastically said, “Things are really good. It is not last year! Last year is behind me.” But the awful markets last year “showed me that I can do it in a bad... Read more
NYAS eager to share its wide selection  of Legacy and Club varieties of apples
Glenmont, NY-based New York Apple Sales Inc. has built its reputation, and consequent success, over the years by providing customers with the traditional apple varieties that are now known as Legacy Apples. Time tested varieties such as McIntosh, Macoun, Cortland, Empire, Red Delicious and Jonagold continue to be regional favorites, especially in the fall when the national demand for the Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji and Pink Lady continue to increase. Jim Allen,... Read more
CSS Farms, a multi-state agriculture company producing onions and chip and specialty potatoes, and RPE, category leader and year-round grower-shipper of potatoes and onions, jointly announced Feb. 27 that RPE will be the exclusive marketing partner of Agri-Pack, a CSS Farms subsidiary and Pasco, WA-based grower-packer-distributor of potatoes and onions. CSS Farms Managing Partner Reagan Grabner said the partnering organizations share a collaborative mindset, strategic... Read more
Ecoripe to sample organic coconut at SEPC event
Ecoripe has seen its business model expand quite significantly over its 20-year life as its Guatemala papaya beginnings have expanded to include a wide range of crops as well as participation in the organic sector and being part of the “Fresh from Florida” program. In fact, for the Southern Exposure event, organic coconuts will be front and center in the firm’s exhibit booth. CEO Marc Holbik relayed to The Produce News in an email interview how the company began... Read more