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Produce experts form consultancy

by | April 20, 2009
A team of produce industry professionals announced April 15 the formation of a consulting group called FreshXperts, a comprehensive consortium that addresses the business development, management, marketing, distribution and retail merchandising needs of produce companies, their distributors and retailers.

"The produce industry is constantly evolving, and companies must seek out fresh solutions to keep pace in an increasingly competitive market," Anthony Totta, business development and marketing expert for FreshXperts, said in an April 15 press release. "We help produce companies understand their strengths and weaknesses and, subsequently, implement strategies to increase business profitability."

The FreshXperts team is positioned to guide shippers, wholesalers, retailers and foodservice organizations as the industry engages the challenges of the fresh supply chain. It provides expert advice on issues such as traceability, visibility and cool chain management, and offers counsel and business solutions to increase profitability.

The FreshXperts consortium consists of eight working partner members, whose combined experience spans almost two centuries and encompasses nearly every sector of the produce industry.

In addition to Mr. Totta, president and chief executive officer for Grow My Profits, group members are Ron Pelger, a retail merchandising expert and president of Power-Produce; Tony Merola, a chef and creative marketing expert who is founder of the Merola Marketing Group Inc.; Mike Nicometo, a cool chain expert and chief executive officer of EmpowerTech, who was also the former director of global IT/IS and director of development for Cool Chain Group AG; John Shelford, a berry expert and organizational governance counselor who is a past president of Naturipe Farms; Tim Vaux, a new venture and product expert, as well as president of The Vaux Group, who is a former executive for DuPont; Tony J. Totta, a document management solutions expert who is major account manager for Ricoh Americas Corp.; and Kenneth B. Hopps, a floral supply chain expert who is managing director of Blue Latitude LLC, a mass-market floral distributor.