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Supporting local and organic, RBest Produce stays ahead of the curve

RBest Produce Inc., headquartered in Port Washington, NY, has handled organic produce for over 15 years. Jasmine Hines, director of marketing and advertising, said the company has always supported local farmers.

“We handle approximately 300 organic items at a time,” said Hines. “Our full supply of organics ranges from fresh organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, along with lots of complementary items such as organic juices, tofu, nuts, croutons and salad dressings.”

The company, a wholesaler and distributor, services customers primarily in the Northeast region.

Hines noted that RBest’s strongest selling organic items are its value-added salads and leafy lettuce commodities.

“Items such as organic Romaine hearts, arugula, and spinach are particularly strong for us,” she said. “Organic apples, celery hearts, tomatoes, lemons and grapes also sell strongly. RBest also offers a full line of fresh organic juicing items like kale varieties, juice carrots, apples, grapefruits and limes. They are all sold without label stickers to better accommodate foodservice operators who mass produce fresh juice products.”

RBest continually encourages its customers to go organic on all produce items because consumers have strongly embraced the trend. People becoming more educated about healthier eating habits also help to spur increased organic consumption.

Hines noted that increasingly more consumers are also learning about organic farming practices and how good they are for the environment. This too is a call to increase organic consumption.

Locally grown is also effecting the increase of organic sales for RBest Produce.

“Being located on Long Island offers us convenience in working with local farms,” said Hines. “’Locally Grown’ signage is important to our customers in helping them to promote and differentiate during seasonal availability. We promote variety in produce departments, and so along with encouraging organic locally grown items we encourage an assortment of organic items that might not be grown locally; organic pineapples or mangos, for example.”

RBest Produce is currently promoting other popular items, including seedless watermelons from Lady Mood Farms, and baby honeydew melons from SunFed.

“And we maintain and continually promote our large variety of prepackaged organic salads,” said Hines. “We supply brands such as ‘Earthbound,’ ‘Fresh Express’ and ‘Organic Girl.’

“Our organic produce is primarily domestically grown,” she continued. “Seasonally we work with local growers from New York, New Jersey and Long Island as well as International farms for items like organic ginger.”

In October 2014, RBest warehouse facility achieved Primus GFS certification, opening more opportunities for the company to service a wider range of clients that require certifications.

The company distributes throughout the tri-state area, as well as Boston and Philadelphia.

“We continue with construction plans on our warehouse facility,” said Hines. “Currently more loading dock doors are being worked on to provide more convenience and options for loading and unloading.”