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Eagle Eye and Taylor Produce join forces for new marketing and sales company

by Kathleen Thomas Gaspar | October 03, 2010
Two longtime western U.S. produce operations have formed a new marketing and sales company in Idaho Falls, ID.

Eagle Eye Produce and Taylor Produce, both Idaho-based, launched their combined operation Oct. 1 under the Eagle Eye Produce name.

According to Newman Giles, president of the existing Eagle Eye Produce and also president of the new company, Taylor Produce will continue to operate as a shipper-packer.

"We formed the new marketing company to handle sales for both operations," he said.

"The formation of this new company will allow us to combine the total supply of our fresh potatoes to better serve our customers needs," Mr. Giles added. Alan Taylor, founder and president of Taylor Produce in Rigby, ID, and vice president of the new Eagle Eye Produce, said that the Taylor shed will double the volume of fresh-market russets for Eagle Eye.

"Our total potato volume, including reds, yellows and organics, will be close to 7 million hundredweight," Mr. Giles said.

Serving as secretary-treasurer of the new marketing and sales company is Shane Thomas, and Taylor sales agents Steve Thorne and Blaine Heiner will join the Eagle Eye staff in Idaho Falls.

In addition to the full line of potatoes it grows and ships, Eagle Eye ships onions out of the Parma, ID, area as well as watermelons out of Arizona and mixed vegetables through Nogales.

All products will be sold and marketed under the "Eagle Eye Produce" brand, and Mr. Taylor said that the combined experience of both companies "will allow us to capitalize on the ever changing dynamics in our industry."

In addition to the Taylor shed, Eagle Eye now has three potato facilities, all at one location to better serve customers with the ability to ship all potato varieties from one location.

"We have a shed for certified organics, one for reds and yellows and one for our conventional russets," Mr. Giles said.

There is also a facility at Layton, ID, for process product.

"We provide an entire line of cut-and-slice vegetables and fruit," Mr. Giles said. "We also have a ready-bake organic potato," the "Organic Hot Potato," he said. "Anything to do with process is done at Layton."

In Nogales, Eagle Eye's facility moves a full line of vegetables, and the company has invested more than $2.5 million in the Arizona operation for peppers, cucumbers, squash and melons.

Mr. Giles said that acreage in Arizona has been increased for watermelons and that Eagle Eye is also one of the larger watermelon growers in Southern California, with facilities at Hemet.

Dealing more or less equally with retail and foodservice, and as a major exporter to South America, Eagle Eye Produce maintains strict adherence to food-safety protocols. The company is fully GAP-certified from farm to warehouse, and the Eagle Eye packing facilities are ASI-certified as well.

Taylor Produce is third-party audited by AIB, and all fields have full traceability.

"We are also automated in our facilities with baggers and balers," Mr. Giles said. Robotics are also used to put product into cold storage.

Noting the history of the two companies and the experience they bring to their customers, both Mr. Giles and Mr. Taylor said that the new company is on solid footing.

"We saw an opportunity with Eagle Eye Produce for strategic marketing and sales," Mr. Taylor said. "We are taking our volume and creating a sustainable supply of product as well as a diversity of product."

Mr. Giles added, "It's our goal to maintain a strong supply, and we're doing it with a company that has great history and great quality.