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BOERNE, TX -- Progreso Produce recently announced an exclusive sales and marketing agreement with Clear Springs Packing LLC in Bartow, FL, to market blueberries, watermelon, strawberries and cantaloupe.

The new relationship provides ancillary sales and sourcing support from Progreso Produce while maintaining the current sales staff, company name and labels of Clear Springs Packing. The Clear Springs relationship builds on Progreso's current watermelon interests in Florida and further solidifies its year-round presence while also adding additional products and facilities.

The first product to kick off the program will be Florida blueberries beginning in mid-March. Florida blueberries will be available through May and carry the "Clear Springs" label. The Progreso/Clear Springs program will develop into a year- round blueberry program and include blueberries from Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Michigan, Argentina and Chile. Additional commodities including watermelon, cantaloupe and strawberries are expected to have a fall start. "For Clear Springs Packing and its customers, it's business as usual. But as a fairly new grower-shipper previously focused on local blueberries, we are excited by the opportunity to partner with Progreso Produce and use their expertise in global sourcing to expand our year-round supplies and increase our volume and plant efficiencies," Kenny Nova, general manager for Clear Springs Packing, said in a March 20 press release. "Progreso's reputation, along with their staff of well- connected sourcing and sales agents, is a perfect match, and we look forward to getting started."

Curtis Deberry, president of Progreso Produce, said in the release, "Our expanding business in year-round watermelons continually has us looking for new partnerships that allow us to best serve our customers. Additional opportunities, like our relationship with Clear Springs, solidifies our existing business while introducing us to new commodities that add value to our program and allow us to expand our offerings.