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COMPANY PROFILES

Washington State Potato Commission bringing excitement to the industry
There are three primary roles the Washington State Potato Commission plays in assisting its potato growers, but according to Chris Voigt, executive director of the Moses Lake, WA-based organization, coordinating and funding potato research is the most important work it does.  “We dedicate over $1 million dollars to potato research and our investment has made us the state with the highest yields and a consistent high quality,” he said. “Another important role... Read more
Baker & Murakami's first post-merger season
Noting that current supplies will take Ontario, OR-based Baker & Murakami Produce through its planned shipping season, company CEO Grant Kitamura said the operation is “managing orders and being orderly about how we’re marketing our onions” during this inaugural season of business. With the merger of Baker Packing and Murakami Produce earlier this year, the new operation brings at least twice the volume of either single company to the market. Though yields... Read more
Onions 52 meeting heightened demand ‘all season long’
With its year-round program in full swing and 2017 rebranding program well established, Onions 52 is meeting what CEO Bob Meek termed current demand “that’s twice what good demand is.” Meek told The Produce News in late November that the holiday movement was good, “but we’ve had very good demand all season.” He said, “We’re going through supplies very quickly with really no down time. But with supplies coming on in Texas and Mexico, we’re in good shape.” Based... Read more
Peri & Sons does things in a family way
Peri & Sons Farms, based in Yerington, NV, has been growing onions for more than 35 years, and currently grows between 350 and 400 million pounds of onions a year. The solely-owned family farm is headed by David Peri. “First and foremost, we pride ourselves on consistency of product and consistency of quality,” said Teri Gibson, director of marketing for Peri & Sons Farms, in Yerington, NV. “David grows all of the onions himself which allows us to have... Read more
Hard work and dedication has become a family tradition for employees of Sunfarm Food Service. So, when it came time to look for a new ERP software solution, they knew they wanted a system that could optimize the solid business they had built in the St. Louis area over the last 90 years. "I first met Marc Hatfield of Produce Pro Software, at a trade show. Even though one of our competitors was already using Produce Pro, it's the system we had our eye on," said John... Read more
NYAS makes a perfect match for retailers and foodservice operators
A big, beautiful bowl of fresh green and red apples on a kitchen counter or dining table is an eye-catching and warm visual any time of the year. But during the holidays, it’s more appropriate than ever. Besides being on hand and easily accessible to family and friends for snacking, apples spur a message that evolves around healthy, seasonal food and human comradery. Jim Allen, vice president of marketing for New York Apple Sales, headquartered in Glenmont, NY,... Read more
New York Apple Association hyped and ready for holiday apple and cider sales
New York state apples and apple cider are definitely in high demand during the year-end holidays. From Thanksgiving menus to Christmas gift giving to New Year’s Eve toasts, apples play an integral role this time of year. Cynthia Haskins, president and chief executive officer of Fishers, NY-based New York Apple Association, added that people should remember to leave an apple for Santa, instead of less healthy treats. “New York state really ‘is’ the Big Apple, so... Read more
Northampton already started with outstanding Florida crops
Cheriton, VA-based Northampton Growers Produce Sales Inc. has already traveled a fast road to recovery following the damage it suffered when Hurricane Irma moved northward from the Florida Keys, up the west coast of Florida and into Georgia. On Sept. 10, the storm headed directly into the growing regions of Georgia, where plants were more mature as growers were moving southward with their seasonal programs.Calvert Cullen A leading East Coast producer of high-quality... Read more
Chamberlain story exemplifies Nogales
Nogales, AZ — Jimmy Chamberlain worked in Nogales for a Florida-based produce company. His wife Sylvia Chamberlain did the books for her husband. In December 1971, their daughter, Dianna, was seven and a half. Her brother Jaime was three. For the second time, Jimmy and Sylvia’s paychecks didn’t arrive from Florida. “We cannot not have a paycheck,” Sylvia said.The Chamberlain family: Sylvia, Jimmy, Dianna and Jaime So she got herself... Read more
Paradise Produce Distributors always on the lookout for new items
As full-line produce distributors operating out of Lakeland, FL, Paradise Produce Distributors Inc. handles just about every commodity in the world with a full line of fruits and vegetables, including imports such as cantaloupe, honeydew and asparagus. “Florida, because of our location, is very important to us and we have a huge production area,” said Joel Silverman, president of the company. “We had a hurricane come through here recently that did quite a bit of... Read more
Prime Time invests in mini peppers and asparagus
Prime Time International considers itself a decent-sized player in Nogales, dealing with three growers that provide hothouse peppers and mini peppers. Both categories have recorded increases this year for Prime Time, thanks to a new grower focusing more on the mini variety and a larger commitment to bell peppers by the others. “On the hothouse, we’re up about 25 percent this year,” said Brian Miller, director of business development for Coachella,... Read more
Lineage Logistics LLC, a leading international warehousing and logistics company backed by Bay Grove LLC, has acquired eight temperature-controlled warehouses from U.S. Growers Cold Storage. With the acquisitions, Lineage adds significant capacity to its expansive facility network in Southern California, providing increased storage flexibility and greater access to value-added solutions for its customers. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.  The... Read more
Del Campo stretching season
Nogales, AZ — In Culiacan this growing season, Del Campo Supreme Inc. is keeping the same acreage as last year but extending the season with earlier and later production. “Our program this year has the same acreage, but we have different growing stages,” said Diego Ley general manager of Del Campo Supreme Inc. In Culiacan this fall, “we are shipping a little earlier and we will finish a little later. Typically, we start in mid-December, but... Read more
Ocean Mist Farms launches new website
In an effort to provide the most user-friendly experience, Ocean Mist Farms is pleased to announce the launch of its newly designed, high-functioning website. The interactive site allows visitors to connect with and learn more about the largest fresh artichoke grower and its expansive product line. The fourth-generation family-owned farm is deeply rooted in its guiding values – integrity, quality, passion and success. Additionally, the commitment to delivering... Read more
Righetti Farms on the move
Rio Rico, AZ — Righetti Farms LLC is moving a couple of blocks within Rio Rico to a new location in late November. Righetti is leasing warehouse and office space in an attractive new facility being constructed by Higueral Produce Inc. The two firms have been friendly neighbors while leasing in another Rio Rico building. Mike Righetti Mike Righetti, the owner of Righetti Farms, said he will enjoy the new office adjoining a sparkling modern warehouse featuring three... Read more
Wholesum is serious about quality assurance
Nogales, AZ — To assure the objectivity of quality assurance, Rebecca Rabago answers to no one at Wholesum Family Farms. Ricardo Crisantes, Sr., the firm’s vice president of sales and marketing, said Rabago is free to make objective calls on what product meets the firm’s lofty standards. Rabago has been with the company for a dozen years.Workers harvest organically-produced bell peppers in one of many shade houses operated in Culiacan by Wholesum... Read more
SunFed expanding its offerings
RIO RICO, AZ — SoHo, a new sweet grape tomato variety, is on the SunFed slate this year, according to Matt Mandel, the firm’s chief operating officer. “It’s a really good grape tomato, with good flavor,” he said. “SoHo has a minimum of eight brix and is consistent with 10-11 brix. It’s like a little red candy. It’s fun to look at people’s faces when they eat one for the first time.” A new SunFed offering this year, a two-count tray pack in a bag for organic zucchini,... Read more
Strong Sigma grape crop expected
Rio Rico, az — Sonora’s fresh table grape crop this spring shipped 20 million boxes, which, by all accounts, is a very large crop. “We were really pleased with the 2017 deal. We expect another big crop this year,” said Mike Smith, president of Sigma Sales Inc. Mike and Ryan SmithSmith credits those in the Sonoran grape industry for realizing early that they had a big crop and they wanted to get in front of it. “There was high quality,... Read more
Fresh Farms veg production up 10 percent across the board
Rio Rico, az — Fresh Farms’ winter vegetable program will be up 10 percent for almost every item, according to Jerry Havel, the firm’s director of sales and marketing. For this season Havel said, “a lot of good things will be new to us.” These include red peppers and yellow corn in January from Guaymas, Sonora. Mini-cucumbers, which will start before the end of the year, are another new item for Fresh Farms. Jerry Havel, Marco Serrano... Read more
RIO RICO, AZ — Hurricane Irma’s early-September destruction of Florida crops may benefit the markets for Mexican products as late as January, said Jorge (George) Quintero Jr., managing partner of Grower Alliance LLC. In the fall, markets for green beans, eggplant and bell peppers from Mexico were strong. “There was enough squash coming out of Mexico to block a high spike,” he noted. Quintero predicted the tomato market “will be good... Read more