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Produce industry veteran Rick Eastes joined Seald Sweet International’s team Sept. 19 as general manger of its West Coast sales and marketing operations.

This move follows the earlier announcement of its major West Coast expansion opportunity and partnership with Fresh Select LLC, located in Dinuba CA.

Mr. Eastes brings substantial experience and qualifications in fruit growing, packing and marketing, with specialized focus in the global arena. His role with Seald Sweet will be to integrate the company’s many international and domestic synergies to benefit its buyers as well as its current and future California growers.

“We are very excited Rick has joined our team and we look forward to the success and opportunities he will bring to Seald Sweet through his experience in the industry,” Mayda Sotomayor-Kirk, chief executive officer of Seald Sweet, said in a Sept. 21 press release. “Rick’s diverse global fresh produce experience will be valuable not only to our California operations, but will also be important in how Seald Sweet and Univeg continues to expand services to our international grower and customer base in the global marketplace. Our new relationship with Fresh Select coupled with Rick’s arrival will bring our west coast operations and our company to new heights.”

Although Mr. Eastes’ involvement will be primarily dedicated to growing Seald Sweet’s California- based production, he will also focus on further developing sales and marketing programs based on year-round product availability, through domestic and imported supplies from other countries.