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Arroyo Grande, CA-based Produce Careers Inc. has partnered with on-line recruitment service AgCareers.com in a move that will extend the reach of AgCareers.com's Compensation Benchmark Review, an extensive agribusiness salary survey.

Produce Careers is an executive search firm for the produce, food and wine industries. The recruitment company targets "middle to senior management," said David Stornetta, a principal of the company.

Eric Spell, president of AgCareers.com, said that his company serves employers and employees in North America.

"Last year we had 30,000 jobs posted on our site," Mr. Spell said, adding that AgCareers.com and Produce Careers "have a common audience."

The scope of data contained in the Compensation Benchmark Review includes pertinent figures that span various industry sectors and regions as well as a comprehensive breakdown of the many varied benefits that comprise an overall benefit package.

"Employers can be guilty of looking only within their niche" when determining overall payment packages, Mr. Spell said.

The Compensation Benchmark Review system is based on payroll data entrusted to - and protected by - AgCareers.com. The information is provided as aggregated data only; participants can see which other companies are using it, but they can't see each other's information.

Mr. Stornetta said that Compensation Benchmark Review is a product "adding value to those who offer compensation." He said that Produce Careers has some 450 companies -- including multinational clients -- that ask for compensation parameters.

Mr. Stornetta said that Produce Careers' motivation for partnering with AgCareers.com on the Compensation Benchmark Review was to add value not only to Produce Careers clients, but also to the industry in general. He said that he regards the Compensation Benchmark Review as offering "tremendous value."

"Salary is only one part," Mr. Stornetta said. "Salary and benefits both matter." Melinda Mullenix, human resources services manager for AgCareers.com, said that Compensation Benchmark Review also serves as a useful tool in retaining an employee - equally important as hiring one.

Mr. Spell said that seed and chemical companies that supply the fresh produce industry use Compensation Benchmark Review. Early adopters of Compensation Benchmark Review in the fresh produce industry will get a discounted price, he said, adding that he expects to have 25-50 fresh produce companies signed up within 12 months.