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Village Farms’ executive team geared up for another successful Southern Exposure event
Visitors to Village Farms LP booth, No. 221, at the Southeast Produce Council Southern Exposure Conference and Trade Show on March 9-11 in Orlando, FL, will find key executives on hand to share company information and to present its high-quality greenhouse produce line. This year’s show marks the fifth year the company has exhibited at the annual event. Senior Vice President Chief Marketing Officer Doug Kling will be joined at the booth by President and Chief... Read more
Robinson Fresh keeps its focus on supply, service and technology
Over the past year, Robinson Fresh has spent a great deal of resources, people, and time in its grower base, expanding acreage, seed development and product innovation spanning the entire supply chain. In 2016, the Eden Prairie, MN-based company placed its focus around its employees to grow customers’ business through supply, service and technology. “Our biggest growth over the last year has been in a few different areas: our people (new leadership),... Read more
Innovation driving W.P. Produce
Reflecting back on 2016, the three-decade, family-owned-and-operated W.P. Produce considers it a winning year. “It began with the removal of the import ban on certain products from Dominican Republic due to the Med-Fly,” said Desirée P. Morales, vice president of the Miami-based company. “This was extremely important to us since our most recognized Desbry brand produce is the Green-skin Avocado from Dominican Republic. We also added two... Read more
Bland Farms talks sweet potatoes and a strong Vidalia onion crop
As usual, Bland Farms will have a strong presence at SEPC with its produce and snack items. The Glennville, GA-based company will occupy Booth No. 424 and its sales team is primed to discuss the latest developments. “The Vidalia onion crop is looking to be one of the best one’s yet and one that our sales team is very excited to discuss with new and current customers,” said Troy Bland, chief operating officer of Bland Farms. “Additionally,... Read more
Ocean Mist Farms ready for SEPC
Ocean Mist Farms invites SEPC attendees to Booth No. 315, where key members of the company will share the innovation behind Season & Steam, and talk through its expanded offerings with Ocean Mist Organic. The Castroville, CA-based company is also sponsoring the annual Tom Page Golf Classic and the new event app, which will be helpful to everyone attending. “We’ve also got some great insights on the artichoke category that we’d love to share... Read more
Giorgio Fresh remaining true to its annual commitment to Southern Exposure
Temple, PA-based Giorgio Fresh Co., a leading mushroom producer, has exhibited at the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure every year since the event’s inception. Lucretia Parish, vice president of sales, said the company has participated in every SEPC event since the beginning of each. “And we will be there again at Southern Exposure this year at Booth No. 154,” said Parish. “I’ll be joined by Brian Threlfall, executive... Read more
Parker Farms preparing for SEPC
Although Parker Farms will not have its own booth at SEPC this year, reps from the Oak Grove, VA-based company will be congregating near the Virginia Department of Agriculture booth, ready to talk about the newest developments in the industry and at the company. “By not being tied to a booth we will take the opportunity to roam and see as many people as possible and set up meetings off the floor,” said Joe Parker, manager of the company. “We would... Read more
VBZ & Sons revamping organics
The family-owned VBZ & Sons, located in Delano, CA, is in the midst of revamping its entire organics program and will be debuting its efforts at SEPC. “It’s a reset for us organically. We’ve been big in the organic sector for the last 12 years, but this year in particular we are going to take that next step,” said Chance Kirk, director of food service and retail sales. “We are going to go from 450,000 to almost 900,000 boxes. Next... Read more
Ben B. excited to be attending NWA Convention
Nate Stone, special projects for Detroit, MI-based Ben B. Schwartz & Sons, and his wife, Terri, are looking forward to attending the 2017 National Watermelon Association Convention Feb. 22-25 in Lake Tahoe, CA.  “We’re excited to attend,” Stone told The Produce News on Monday, Feb. 6. “Watermelon has become such a big part of our business that we thought it was certainly worth attending this convention and becoming a little more... Read more
Tasteful Selections, Katie’s Krops conclude fourth campaign to help end hunger
Tasteful Selections, a specialty potato brand from RPE Inc., concluded its fourth annual campaign with Katie’s Krops, a non-profit focused on empowering young growers to plant vegetable gardens and donate the harvests to the underserved in their communities. As part of the annual campaign, a portion of the profits from specially marked bags of Tasteful Selections’ Ruby Sensation and Honey Gold potatoes, that were available October through the end of... Read more
rio rico, az — “There is a lot of turmoil now in the news. But I see Mexico’s produce business as a very solid industry that is becoming more and more profitable and responsible,” said Jose Luis Obregon, the president of IPR Fresh. “Mexico as a whole, from my personal point of view, will continue to increase in production as long as there is a market. Consumption in the U.S. for fresh fruits and vegetables has increased. There is a... Read more
rio rico, az — The Chiapas mango deal was to begin for Higueral Produce Inc. after Feb. 10, according to a preseason interview with company executives Carlos Villa, president, and Edgar Duarte, a partner. The firm will also be shipping chili peppers and Romas in its later winter and spring deal. “The mango market is pretty good,” Duarte said Jan. 31. “It’s $7 to $9 laid-in. We hope for a good mango season.” The chili pepper... Read more
nogales, az — A chart of the of the Mexican peso has generally been in a slow but straight-line downward slide since late 2013. The peso has dropped from about eight per dollar to five. In early February, the exchange rate for one U.S. dollar was 20.5 pesos. For Nogales fresh produce companies, who in many cases help fund Mexican production, transportation or packaging, it can be a frightening path to navigate the exchange rate. Jorge Quintero Jr., managing... Read more
hermosillo, sonora — Sonora’s grape industry convened in Hermosillo Jan. 26-27 for its third annual technical symposium. More than 400 growers packed to hear two long days of cutting-edge production information for experts from around the world. Marco Molina, chairman of AALPUM, which presented the event, provided an interesting overview to open the meeting. He indicated that: •Sonora produces the equivalent of 20 million 40-pound boxes of... Read more
rio rico, az — In a preliminary January interview regarding the impact of Donald Trump on trade relations with Mexico, Lance Jungmeyer noted, “We still don’t know what direction he’ll take.” Jungmeyer is the president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas. Regarding recent reports about entering a 90-day consultation on NAFTA, he said, “We don’t know what direction this will go, and how consumers may react.” In... Read more
rio rico, az — Peppers-Plus LLC is shipping “rainbow bags” of yellow, red and orange Bell peppers this winter. The peppers are cut with a desirable relatively long green stem, added Bobby Astengo, the firm’s managing director. He described these greenhouse peppers as having the very traditional blocky shape. The long stems “give a better appearance and some stay the peppers stay fresher” by feeding off this cut of stem. Peppers-Plus... Read more
rio rico, az — Rolling out a national marketing campaign takes time and careful management. In the fall, The Produce News reported SunFed’s introduction of the Almost Famous brand. Brett Burdsal, SunFed’s vice president of marketing, noted at the time that “Almost Famous is our ugly fruit brand. The brand allows us to maximize what we return to the farm.” From the grower’s point of view, “you don’t want to throw... Read more
Nogales, az — It was December 2015 when Covilli Brand Organics Inc. received its Fairtrade certification at its Guaymas, Sonora, organic vegetable farm. That date was later than originally planned because Covilli registered some vegetable commodities with Fairtrade that hadn’t been logged before. So, although the firm starts shipping in October, Covilli’s workers only participated in their Fairtrade program from January until their shipping program... Read more
rio rico, az — In the last week of Febraury, Ciruli Bros. LLC will be shipping promotable volumes of Mexican mangos into the North American market. Mexico’s first mangos of the season crossed into Texas about Jan. 15, Chris Ciruli, company chief operating officer, noted. The early Mexican mangos were on the market in time for the Chinese New Year on Jan. 28, which marks the Year of the Rooster. He expects the Mexican mango volume will hit a flurry... Read more
A new contract with a major international grower is proving key to an expanded vegetable marketing plan for Bushmans’ Inc. Based in Rosholt, WI, Bushmans’ is a major grower-packer-shipper of Wisconsin potatoes. But the firm worked in 2016 to create a year-round vegetable shipping program, sourcing from Wisconsin and Mexico. Bushmans’ initial program was organized by T.J. Bauer, a Nogales industry veteran. Mike Carter, Bushmans’ chief executive... Read more