CURRENT ISSUE

view current print edition

 

 

On April 26, Calvert Cullen, president of Northampton Growers Produce Sales, Inc., headquartered in Cheriton, VA, told The Produce News the company’s Carolina crops look to be on schedule.

“After the rough winter we had in South Florida, much the same as everyone had in every growing region, we are happy to say that things are pretty much back to normal,” said Cullen. “We are still a bit far out to predict our North Carolina crop with precision, but if things stay the way they are, and baring bad weather systems, we’ll come out with a very nice crop.”

South Florida was in the same basic situation with Mexico, California, South and Central America in the winter and early spring. El Niño wreaked havoc of some level to all growing areas resulting in very short volumes of the majority of crops.

Northampton Growers got back on track with its northern Florida crops, and its Georgia program was gearing up to full swing in late April.

“Our Central Florida crops will wrap up about the end of May with the last of the season items like peppers,” said Cullen. “In Georgia we started harvesting cabbage in the middle of April, and we’re now getting ready to start with squashes.”

He added that yields and quality of the Georgia crops are very good.

“The cabbage market is currently strong, but squash is still in the tank because every growing region came on at the same time creating a glut,” he explained.

The company was still planting in North Carolina at the end of April. Its farms are in Hyde County, and the packing shed is in Fairfield.

“We will start cabbage harvesting in North Carolina on May 15,” said Cullen. “Green beans and squashes will start around June 1, peppers around June 20 and sweet corn will be ready around June 25 to July 1. It’s a 90 day crop, and North Carolina is the only place we grow it. For corn you need land and a proper equipment set up. We have a little window with North Carolina corn before Michigan starts its movement.”

Plantings are done with precision at Northampton Growers. String beans are ready for harvesting 52 days from planting and squash is ready in 45 days.

“New faster growing varieties have come on over the years,” Cullen noted. “Green beans used to take 60 days, and are now at about 52 days.”

The company follows the seasons from Florida northward each year, wrapping up in Michigan in late summer. It then reverses its growing pattern and works back southward.

Cullen is partners with Steve McCready, who is also the company’s comptroller.

“With the rough winter behind us, we sure look forward to smooth sailing as we move north,” said Cullen. “But we don’t let our guard down for a second. We know a storm can brew at just about any time that could set everyone’s crops back.”

 

• Start a new subscription

• Renew a subscription

• Make a payment

• Customer Service  
   (address, phone, email changes, missing issues, order back-issues etc)



• Sign up for e-news alerts

 

 

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.”

Christopher Ranch, a leading grower and shipper of high-quality garlic and other specialty products has been growing organic garlic since 1997. Patsy Ross, marketing director for the Gilroy, CA-based company, said that every year the company increases acreage for its organic program.

“Christopher Ranch grows packs and ships organic fresh and peeled garlic, organic fresh and peeled shallots and organic elephant garlic,” said Ross. “We also offer handcrafted organic garlic braids. And our full line of value-added jar items includes chopped garlic, roasted garlic, chopped ginger and chopped shallots.”

And the company’s organic line extends even further. It carries a full line of organic specialty items such as pearl, Ciopolline and boiler onions, as well as fresh organic ginger.

The company’s fresh organic garlic, shallots and elephant garlic are all produced in California.

Ross noted that Christopher Ranch is fortunate to have a mix of retail, foodservice distributor and industrial accounts in its customer portfolio. Its main distribution range for its organic offerings is across North America.

The organic market, Ross noted, continues to grow.

“And we are working hard to meet the increasing demand,” she said. “Our ultimate goal is to provide domestic items year-round, but sometimes we need to supplement our domestic supply with imported organic items to meet our customer’s needs.”

Third-generation family member, Ken Christopher, joined the company in 2010, and now helps to oversee its operations. He said the company’s California organic garlic sales have been growing at a strong rate for the past several years.

“While growing organics can be very challenging, we are proud to have a year-round California supply,” said Christopher. “We expect this coming season’s market to remain very tight, with demand continuing to outstrip supply. That being said, we are investing more and more in our organic program to ensure that we’ll continue to expand right alongside customer demand.”

Ross said the company is very excited about the upcoming summer harvest season for its organic garlic and other items.

“As a conscientious family owned company, Christopher Ranch strives to sustain the environment, and in all aspects of our operation,” she explained. “And we are totally dedicated to expanding our full line of organic products into the future.”



EDITORIAL

Editor & Publisher
John Groh
800 Kinderkamack Road, Suite 100
Oradell, NJ 07649
Tel: (201) 986-7990
Fax: (201) 986-7996
groh@theproducenews.com
Biography

 

Associate Editor
Terry Sokol
800 Kinderkamack Road, Suite 100
Oradell, NJ 07649
Tel: (201) 986-7990
Fax: (201) 986-7996
sokol@theproducenews.com
Biography

 

Online Editor &
Digital Sales Manager

Ryan Beckman
800 Kinderkamack Road, Suite 100
Oradell, NJ 07649
Tel: (201) 986-7990
Fax: (201) 986-7996
beckman@theproducenews.com
Biography

 

Assistant Editor
Maggie Giuffrida
800 Kinderkamack Road, Suite 100
Oradell, NJ 07649
Tel: (520) 227-5909
giuffrida@theproducenews.com
Biography

 

Editor-At-Large & Texas Editor
Tim Linden
17 Loma Linda Court
Orinda, CA 94563
Tel: (925) 258-0892
Fax: (925) 258-0893
tim.linden@ymail.com
Biography

 

Eastern Editor
Christina DiMartino
Tel: (212) 996-9086
writealotmail@gmail.com
Biography

Arizona & Midwest Editor
Tad Thompson
Tel: (215) 431-5291
tadwriter@gmail.com

Washington, DC, Editor
Joan Murphy
409 Old Country Road
Severna Park, MD 21146

Tel: (410) 793-5308
jfoshay@comcast.net

 

Colorado Editor
Kathleen Thomas Gaspar
888 N. Orchard Ave., #27
Canon City, CO 81212
Tel: (719) 275-5857
kathleenthomasg@gmail.com
Biography

 

Western Editor
Lora Abcarian
87 Star Lane
Bailey, CO 80421

Tel: (303) 918-9891
lora.abcarian@gmail.com
Biography

 

Central Editor
(Great Lakes and Midwest)
Tad Thompson
Tel: (215) 431-5291
tadwriter@gmail.com

 

Floral Marketing Editor
Richard Lutes
2220 Cavell Ave. N.,
Golden Valley, MN 55427
Tel (763) 595-9559
Cell (763) 227-9928

Biography

 

Director of Video Production & Southern Editor
Chip Carter
18008 Arbor Crest Dr.
Tampa, FL 33647
Tel: (813) 838-1577

 

South Carolina Editor
John Niblock
215 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Tel: (843) 724-9888


ADVERTISING SALES

President
Jack Bricker
Tel: (201) 986-7990
Fax: (201) 986-7996
bricker@theproducenews.com

 

Western Sales Manager
(San Joaquin Valley and Pacific Northwest)
Ed Boling
468 N. San Pablo Ave.
Fresno, CA 93701
Tel: (559) 317-7985
boling@theproducenews.com

 

Western  & Texas Sales Manager
(Southern California and Texas)
Brian Woods
Tel: (816) 214-7037
woods@theproducenews.com

 

Arizona & Midwest Sales Manager
Tad Thompson
Tel: (215) 431-5291
tadwriter@gmail.com

 

Advertising Manager
Debbie Negron
800 Kinderkamack Road, Suite 100
Oradell, NJ 07649
Tel: (201) 986-7990
Fax: (201) 986-7996

negron@theproducenews.com
Biography

 

Digital Sales Manager
Ryan Beckman
800 Kinderkamack Road, Suite 100
Oradell, NJ 07649
Tel: (201) 986-7990
Fax: (201) 986-7996
beckman@theproducenews.com
Biography

 

 

 

Eastern Sales Manager
Eastern U.S. and Florida
Marilena Osso
21075 Bella Vista Circle
Boca Raton, FL 33428
Tel: (561) 483-9224
Fax: (561) 483-9963
osso@theproducenews.com

 

Colorado Sales Manager
Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Colorado
Kathleen Thomas Gaspar
888 N. Orchard Ave., #27
Canon City, CO 81212
Tel: (719)275-5857
kathleenthomasg@gmail.com
Biography

 

Floral Marketing Sales Manager
Richard Lutes
2220 Cavell Ave. N.,
Golden Valley, MN 55427
Tel (763) 595-9559
Cell (763) 227-9928
lutes@theproducenews.com

 

Director of Video Production and
Southern Sales Manager

Chip Carter
18008 Arbor Crest Dr.
Tampa, FL 33647
Tel: (813)838-1577

 

South Carolina Sales Manager
John Niblock
215 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Tel: (843) 724-9888

 

ART/PRODUCTION 

Creative & Production Director
Anthony Addamo
Tel: (201) 986-7990
Fax: (201) 986-7996
addamo@theproducenews.com
Biography

Senior Designer
Rania Cisternas
Tel: (201) 986-7990
Fax: (201) 986-7996
cisternas@theproducenews.com
Biography

Designer
Colleen Brozyniak
Tel: (201) 986-7990
Fax: (201) 986-7996
brozyniak@theproducenews.com

 

ACCOUNTING

Accounting Manager
Susan Marcus
Tel: (800) 753-9110
Tel: (201) 986-7990
Fax: (201) 986-7996
marcus@theproducenews.com

 


Circulation Audited By
BPA
The Business Publishers
Audit, International 

New York, NY