Marc Holbik, director of grower relations for Ecoripe Tropicals in Medley, FL, told The Produce News that the company carries a widely diverse line of Asian fruits and vegetables. But it also imports a wide variety of tropical products from South and Central America.
“We currently have a Papaya import program which includes the Solo papaya and the large papaya, which we source from Belize, Guatemala, Ecuador and Brazil,” said Mr. Holbik. “This is a year-round program. We are growers ourselves in Guatemala, although we work together with other growers in multiple countries to ensure steady volumes to distribute here in the U.S. and in our Canadian markets.”
Ecoripe Tropicals is continuously working to meet the growing needs of the Asian-American communities as well as the increased cross-cultural integration of many of its Asian products.
In addition, the company handles an extensive line of typical tropical fruits and vegetables. The company’s tropical fruit line includes coconuts, papayas, pineapples, mangos and limes. And it handles passion fruit and starfruit. Its specialty vegetable line is comprised of peppers, peas, breadnut, green papaya, tindora, breadfruit, long beans, sweet potato leaf, mong toi, chive flower and other unique items. It also handles root vegetables such as white and yellow turmeric, yucca, malanga eddoes and chayote.
“The line was developed specifically for a wide range of Chinese, Indian, Southeast Asian and even Hispanic cuisines,” said Mr. Holbik. “These foods and the dishes they are used in have become increasingly popular in North America.”
Ecoripe Tropicals, he added, is currently in the middle of its high season of Asian vegetables from Honduras. The line is comprised of Chinese eggplant, bittermelons, okras and much more.
“Right now, we are moving close to double the volumes of we handle during the low season,” Mr. Holbik added. “And our Peruvian mango program has just begun, with volumes looking good. This will run until we start our Guatemalan mango season.”
“In May we begin our rambutan season from Guatemala,” he continued. “We are predicting an increase in volume of around 30 percent as more trees are coming into production. This will help us to fill the always increasing demand for the item.”
Ecoripe is unveiling a new website, www.ecoripe.com, and Mr. Holbik said that everyone is invited to take a look. The site’s colorful photos of luscious fruits are a mouthwatering sight.
The company is firmly committed to the success of its farming partner enterprises by working hand-in-hand to develop market-driven projects. Mr. Holbik said it strives to provide the best in communication and service to the people and companies with which it works.
“From locally grown Florida produce, papayas from Belize and Brazil, mangos from Peru, rambutan from Guatemala and vegetables from Honduras, our farming partners span the Western Hemisphere,” said Mr. Holbik.
“The assurance of freshness, taste, food safety and consistent quality is a challenging task that is taken on with passion by our quality growers,” he added.