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Ronnie Cohen, vice president of sales for Vision Import Group LLC in River Edge, NJ, said that the company’s experience at the New York Produce Show & Conference has been very good in the past, “and it’s getting better each year,” he said. “Regional shows are more intimate because they draw merchandisers and the folks who work closer to the product at the store level. It also draws regional wholesalers and foodservice operators. The intimate setting gives us a good opportunity to interact with these folks.”

Ronnie CohenRonnie CohenHe added that he feels that the timing of the 2012 show is great. “Who wouldn’t want to be in New York City in the fall?”

Vision Import will be exhibiting at booth No. 240 at the show. Mr. Cohen pointed out that the company has exhibited at the event every year since it began in 2010.

At the show, the company will be promoting its line of cleverly created, high-graphic proprietary labels. The line consists of “Havana Pineapple,” “Havana Limes,” “Van Gogh Mango,” “Mr. Squeeze,” for both its lemon and lime programs, “Mojito Limes” and “Mango Maniac.”

One major change the company has made in the past year is to open a partner company in Texas.

“Vision Produce partnered with longtime veteran Ben Brittain Sr. with our other partner, Bill Vogel,” said Mr. Cohen. “Mr. Vogel also recently changed the name of his company from Tavilla Sales Co. of Los Angeles to Vision Produce Co.

“This now brings all three companies together to offer national distribution of our core items, specifically limes and mangos,” he continued. “In the past year Bill also purchased a brand-new warehouse facility in Phoenix [AZ] and he opened a sales office in Nogales, Arizona. This office will concentrate not only on our core items, but also on developing new commodities looking toward the future.”

Vision Import Group’s goal now is to open a sales office in Florida sometime in 2013, he said.

Mr. Cohen said that all of the facilities owned or used for public cold storage by Vision Import are all either HAACP, GlobalGAP or PrimusLab-certified or in the process to be qualified.

“Traceability types of certifications are the future as we look to provide customers the safest products possible when being proactive in achieving the requirements,” he said.

Last December Vision Import Group hired Allan Napolitano. Mr. Napolitano is a third-generation produce professional. He left a job with a very large corporation to pursue a career in the produce business.

“Allan says that the produce industry is in his blood, and he couldn’t quell the itch to be involved,” said Mr. Cohen. “It’s uncommon for a lot of folks to look for a career in our industry. We are happy that he made that decision. We look forward to his second year with much growth for us all.”