New marketer of Mexican produce making debut at PMA Fresh Summit
by John Groh | October 17, 2010
A group of long-time growers of Mexican produce will sell their products
through a new marketing entity called Eleven Rivers Growers, which will make
its debut at the Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit convention in
Eleven Rivers Growers will sell fruits and vegetables grown in the Sinaloa
region of Mexico by 18 growers, who will be required to meet strict criteria in
order to ship their products under the "Certified: Fresh & Reliable" brand. The
five “pillars” of the brand are food safety, traceability, social responsibility,
ecological responsibility and quality.
According to a statement issued Oct. 12 by Eleven Rivers Growers, the
participating growers account for 20 percent of the winter fruits and
vegetables consumed in the United States. The group will oversee the entire
production process and will conduct rigorous inspections before allowing
products to be shipped under the brand. The individual companies will
continue to operate under their own names.
“Eleven Rivers Growers is proud to introduce this new category in produce,
raising the bar in food safety and providing a world-class system for
traceability,” Fernando A. Mariscal, brand representative for Eleven Rivers
Growers, said in the statement. “Our certified fresh and reliable fruits and
vegetables present a third option to consumers in the produce aisle — one
that does not compromise taste, price or quality.”
Eleven Rivers Growers said that it will offer product traceability from harvest
through final delivery of every box. Growers carefully oversee their crops from
seeding to harvest, using the latest technology such as photographic imaging.
The growers who supply produce under the Eleven Rivers Growers name must
comply with strict regulations or risk losing brand certification. The best-
practice growing methods are reviewed on a weekly basis, and guarantee a
high level of consistency.
Eleven Rivers’ produce will be distributed throughout the United States
beginning in December. Among the products to be shipped are tomatoes,
cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, peppers, squash and watermelon.
The organization said that it is still undergoing its incorporation process and
that the management group will be defined at a general assembly to be held
at the end of November.