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D'Arrigo Bros. to sell and market 'American Classic colored cauliflower

by Tim Linden | June 03, 2009
In an unusual arrangement, D'Arrigo Bros. Co. of California, based in Salinas, CA, has stepped in and is now selling and marketing "American Classic" brand green, orange and purple cauliflower.

The cauliflower and the packaging belong to Salinas-based grower-shipper Salyer American Fresh Foods, which is currently in receivership and is awaiting a court ruling about its future.

Margaret D'Arrigo-Martin, executive vice president of sales and marketing for D'Arrigo, said that the well-known California shipper made a deal with the receiver currently running Salyer American to "borrow the brand" and utilize the already-purchased packaging and marketing tools to sell the crop.

"[Salyer American] already had a very good marketing program in place, and we are taking it over for the time being," she said.

Ms. D'Arrigo-Martin said that her firm is not buying the brand, but by stepping in, it is helping Salyer American use the packaging that was already purchased and is giving growers of colored cauliflower a home for their production.

"We have taken about 50 percent of the production [that was in the ground], and I understand another shipper in town has taken the rest," said Ms. D'Arrigo-Martin.

She said that D'Arrigo is currently negotiating with these growers and other former Salyer American cauliflower growers to plant additional acreage for harvest in the late summer and fall.

"We are also working with a Yuma grower to have production in the winter," she said.

The D'Arrigo executive said that the "American Classic" brand will be used for the foreseeable future but that D'Arrigo may eventually begin to pack and market the unique cauliflower varieties in its well-known "Andy Boy" label. Until this deal was made, D'Arrigo sold traditional white cauliflower but did not have a presence in the specialty cauliflower marketplace.

"It is a unique product, and we are excited about offering it to our customers," she added.

Ms. D'Arrigo said that the "American Classic" cauliflower has also been offered to former Salyer American customers who have established colored cauliflower programs.