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The export office at Columbia Marketing International, based in Wenatchee, WA, is losing one of its longtime sales associates. Henrik Weiseth is retiring today, May 1.

Mr. Weiseth, who was born in Norway and educated in Argentina and the United States, has been involved in the international fruit and vegetable sector for the past 37 years. He imported fruit for Bama Gruppen in Norway and Viking Fruit in Sweden for 20 years, creating and maintaining strategic business relationships in markets that included Argentina, New Zealand, southern Europe and the United States.

During the past 11 years, Mr. Weiseth worked in CMI's export department marketing apples, pears and cherries to European, Russian and Latin American markets.

Mr. Weiseth speaks seven languages, four of them fluently. During the 1990s, he learned Portuguese, which helped CMI business relationships in Brazil.

Mr. Weiseth was also actively involved with a number of associations, and was the manager of the Produce Marketing Association's international program during the 1980s.

"Henrik was an asset to CMI, and he will be greatly missed," Tony Buak, director of export for CMI, told The Produce News.

Mr. Weiseth and his wife, Barbro, plan to relocate permanently to Sweden in mid-July following a month's vacation in Alaska. Because they will be living on an island off the coast of Sweden, Mr. Weiseth said he plans to take up sailing.

"The area is surrounded by salty water, full of rocks and far away from the apple, pear and cherries orchards that I have grown to love here in Washington state," he said. "I am going to be sailing instead of selling but will be remembering and missing all my contacts in the industry."

CMI plans to host a farewell party May 2 for the Weiseths.

Scott Agnew was hired in August 2007 in anticipation of Mr. Weiseth's retirement.