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Food-safety certification helps to build interest in sales for New Limeco LLC

by Tad Thompson | January 09, 2011
A new PrimusLabs Global Certification is proving very beneficial for sales at New Limeco LLC, according to Eddie Caram, the general manager of the Princeton, FL, firm.

"This has opened doors to what consumers and the chainstore buyers want," Mr. Caram told The Produce News Jan. 11.

In December, the firm's distribution facility and Florida avocado fields were certified with a 97 percent approval rating.

He added, “People we are partnering with in Guatemala and Belize are also into food safety traceability since it became a big concern for us.”

Mr. Caram indicated that New Limeco is “one of or the only” firm in the Redland area of south Florida to have a global certification from PrimusLabs. South Florida is “actually where a lot of chain stores should look to source tropicals from. We have done what all the chains and consumers want.” Of such a certification for traceability and food safety, he said, “You don’t get much higher than what we have done.”

In mid-January, New Limeco was “importing limes out of Mexico and Central America and South America” for a total of eight or nine containers a week, he said. “We are probably the largest importer of limes in south Florida right now.” The company also offers avocados and papayas within “a full line of tropicals.”

The firm packs papayas and other items in the “Sunset Jewel” label. New Limeco has a partner in Belize and Guatemala exporting between six and eight containers of Tainung papayas per week. This variety is a red-flesh, Caribbean-style large papaya, which is “a big seller in the United States and Canada,” Mr. Caram said.

New Limeco will soon be seasonally importing avocados from the Dominican Republic. This is a West Indian variety, similar to what is grown in south Florida.

Florida avocado shipping will run into late March.

The firm is also offering a root vegetable program, sourcing in Ecuador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. “We have expanded sales here with all those items. And I see us expanding a little bit more,” Mr. Caram said.

New Limeco is importing herbs, such as cilantro, from Costa Rica and “a container or two a week of pineapples from Costa Rica,” as well as dried (without husks) coconuts from the Dominican Republic, he said. The coconut volume for the firm has recently doubled to be about a container a week.