As attendees of the PMA Fresh Summit this October in Orlando, FL, make their
way down the 3600 aisle of the exhibit hall during the upcoming convention,
they might be enticed to taste a special melon, which the producer claims is
one of the sweetest in the world.
"We are going to use our space this year to do as many demos as possible,"
said Rodrigo Lima, the U.S. representative for Itaueira Farms of Brazil. “We
want to show off the taste of this fruit both to new customers and our current
The fruit he is talking about is the yellow-skinned Canary melon, a variety
that is produced year round in Brazil and shipped to the United States during
the September-to-March time period.
Itaueira has positioned this product as a high-end melon. It is packed in a
10-kilo carton, which holds five to seven melons individually netted to signal
their premium status.
Each melon is marketed under the “REI” brand and stickered with an “I am
Delicious” label to reinforce its main selling point.
Mr. Lima said that it is the fruit's taste profile that sets it apart from other
melons and even from other Canary melons that are produced in other parts
of the world.
“It always tastes sweet with a very high Brix level, but that is not the only
factor,” he said. “We do many other things to make sure it is the very best
He said that the firm takes great care in harvesting the fruit to make sure only
the best and sweetest melons are picked and sent to the export market. And
this year, the growing conditions in Brazil have been perfect, “so the fruit is
always good but this year it is outstanding,” Mr. Lima said.
The first load of canary melons arrived on the U.S. East Coast by ship in mid-
September, and weekly shipments are expected into New Jersey until late
In addition, this year for the first time there will be shipments to the West
Coast beginning in November.
“We are very excited for that,” said Mr. Lima. “We will be able to offer the
Canary melon on both coasts for the same price. That is very good for our
West Coast retailers.”
Carlos Prado, owner and president of Itaueira Farms, will be in the company’s
booth (No. 3689), as will other members of the Prado family.
Mr. Lima and Fred Tavares, who are the U.S. representatives of the company,
also will be on hand.
Besides offering samples of the Canary melon, the company will be touting
other products that it sells, such as the Piel del Sapo melon and a mini
watermelon. It will also be talking about another melon — the Galia — that is
currently in production and will be available in limited quantities in 2011.
Mr. Lima said that this is the third year Itaueira Farms will be exhibiting at the
PMA Fresh Summit. Besides selling its products, the firm wants to give its
customers a sense of who the producer is and the care it takes in producing
He said that Itaueira is very concerned about the welfare of its employees and
“The company provides good working conditions, strictly in accordance with
Brazilian labor laws; a complete training program; protection and safety
equipment and is always trying to improve its workers’ quality of life,” Adriana
Prado, the owner’s daughter, said in a statement released by the firm. “Itaueira believes that it is its social responsibility to ensure that its workers
and the community benefit from its actions.”
She added in the statement that environmental protections are another main
concern of the firm, and that the company is involved in a number of
practices to minimize its carbon footprint, with reforestation, water-resource
protection, and reducing, recycling and reusing materials among the
The company also has a traceability program that tracks each piece of fruit
from planting until it reaches the final customer.