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The Peruvian Asparagus Importers Association, an organization that represents U.S. companies involved in importing fresh Peruvian asparagus, announced Feb. 15 that it will be led by co-chairmen in 2011.

Chris Martin of Los Angeles-based Gourmet Trading Co. will serve as co-chairman for the West Coast and Walter Yager of Miami-based Alpine Marketing is co-chairman for the East Coast.

“As an association, we will enhance industry focus on increasing the consumption of fresh asparagus in the U.S. market through aggressive retail and foodservice promotions,” Mr. Martin said in a Feb. 15 press release. “These promotions will be centered around the nutritional value and ease of preparation that fresh asparagus offers the U.S. consumers.”

“Today’s consumers are looking for convenience and value,” Mr. Yager added in the press release. “Our objectives are to convey exactly that by partnering with retailers and providing quality products for the consumers. The ultimate goal is to enhance the trade and boost consumption through market development. We are prepared to investigate and pursue opportunities to accomplish this goal.”

The association said that in 2011 it will focus on spreading the positive word to trade press, supermarkets and consumers concerning the benefits of fresh asparagus. Through articles, advertisements, direct communication and trade show participation, the association anticipates increasing consumption and demand for fresh asparagus in 2011.