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Ger-Nis plans new programs for 2011 season

by Christina DiMartino | January 09, 2011
Ger-Nis International has new and exciting programs in the works for 2011, Nissa Pierson, owner and managing director of the Brooklyn, NY- headquartered company told The Produce News. "We are one of the only companies that brought the organic Edward mango, an early variety, in from Peru this year," said Ms. Pierson. “Because of the U.S. Department of Agriculture protocol that requires the fruit go through hot- water baths, we shipped them into Canada. We thought this would be a great year to increase our movements into Canada. Montreal is a great market for us because it's so progressive. We hope to have the water bath situation worked out by next year so we can also bring them into the U.S.”

Ger-Nis’ organic Kent mango program, a Fair Trade product also from Peru, recently got underway.

The company’s Hass avocados from Uruapan, Mexico, will run most of year with a short gap in the summer.

“Avocados are going strong for us currently,” said Ms. Pierson. “The demand is very strong, which is keeping prices strong. Hass avocados will run through into May, and then we’ll switch to organic avocados from Peru.”

Ger-Nis’ organic bananas from Peru are still moving, and the company is also importing organic ginger from Peru.

“The ginger comes from the Andes rainforest mountain range,” said Ms. Pierson.

She added that the ginger is a little problematic because retailers often don’t want to carry both organic and conventional product. But Ger-Nis is dedicated to the product. In the spring, the company will be launching new eco-friendly packaging that will help in taking organic ginger to mainstream retailers.

“We’re now running organic hothouse sweet peppers from Israel,” she said. “This has been a tough year for the product because the Mediterranean fruit fly was found in a shipment last April. Israeli sweet peppers were banned until late December, causing the movement from to run about a month late.”

Ms. Pierson said that the company is developing new packaging for its entire organics line, which it hopes to launch by the end of the year.

“Another nice organic program on our radar for late spring and summer is a locally grown and Community Supported Agriculture program,” said Ms. Pierson. “The Ger-Nis facility will act as a distribution point for local growers.”