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Christopher Ranch offering only California-grown organic garlic
With an increase in acreage, Gilroy, CA-based Christopher Ranch LLC has been able to follow through on its goal of only growing its organic garlic in the state of California for the 2018-19 season. Previously, the firm had augmented its domestic organic garlic supply with some organic garlic from Argentina to help fill orders as the season neared its end. Executive Vice President Ken Christopher told The Produce News in late March that with 12 million pounds of... Read more
Farmer’s Best Texas volume surpasses Nogales
This year, for the first time, the produce volume received through Texas by Farmer’s Best will exceed what is received through the firm’s headquarters facility in Rio Rico, AZ. Thus, it’s a small wonder that the Mexican vegetable giant, Farmer’s Best International, LLC, will be exhibiting at the 2019 Viva Fresh Expo. “This will be our first year exhibiting at Viva Fresh,” Steve Yubeta, vice president of sales and marketing, told The Produce News on April 2. ... Read more
Wada Farms brings diversity of  offerings to Viva Fresh Expo
Wada Farms Marketing Group LLC in Idaho Falls, ID, has been participating in the Viva Fresh Expo since its inception, and it’s a great place to be, according to Dominic Carnazzo, who is part of the sales and marketing team at Wada Farms and who will be on hand for the fifth Viva Fresh Expo in San Antonio, April 25-27. Carnazzo, who is red, yellow, white, and organic potato program manager for Wada Farms, was at the 2018 Viva Expo as well, at the same venue, and... Read more
Spring is cropping up at Weis-Buy Farms
After a rough winter throughout the nation depressed produce sales, officials at Weis-Buy Farms are gearing up for a sunny spring. “This has been a strange year for produce as the El Niño effect of wet, warm to cool but not freezing weather has engulfed the East Coast and caused cold and freezing weather in the Far West and Mexico,” Charles (Chuck) Weisinger, founder and chief executive officer of Fort Myers, FL-based Weis-Buy Farms told The Produce News. “Floods... Read more
Coming up soon on its 30th anniversary, Paradise Produce Distributors, based in Lakeland, FL, continues doing mostly the same things it’s been doing for nearly three decades, and although not much has changed lately, one constant is continued success. The company is a year-round distributor of fruits and vegetables, and according to Joel Silverman, Paradise Produce Distributors’ president, it has practically perfected the practice of filling customers’ produce,... Read more
Northampton Growers ready for a good Florida spring
East Coast seasonal grower, Northampton Growers Produce Sales Inc., headquartered in Cheriton, VA, is geared up and ready for what it anticipates will be a good Florida spring movement. On March 27, W. Calvert Cullen IV, company president, told The Produce News that its Florida vegetable crops were, for the most part, on time this year and looking good. “Spring squash is running now,” said Cullen. “Spring peppers will start around April 7-8, about the same time... Read more
Southern Specialties offers menu ideas for the spring
As Southern Specialties approaches the spring season, Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for the Pompano Beach, FL-based company, said it’s well prepared to offer strong programs for its customers with a complete line of Southern Selects products, including asparagus, French beans, baby vegetables, peas, heirloom tomatoes, berries and more. “Some of the most popular items for Easter and Mother’s Day celebrations that we have would be asparagus,... Read more
Pacific AgPak leads the way in strawberry packaging
Pacific AgPak Inc. has long enjoyed an excellent reputation for providing top-of-the-line packaging for strawberries, and the company, based in Watsonville, CA, is dedicated to providing new innovations in packaging that protects strawberries and improves efficiency. “We’ve had our most success in providing great service and just-in-time deliveries and listening to the shippers and growers that we work with in developing new packages throughout the years,” said... Read more
Naturipe sees strong season ahead for California strawberries
Naturipe Farms, based in Salinas, CA, utilizes growers in Argentina, Canada, Chile, Mexico and the United States, with major production in California, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. But California remains the company’s most vital area for strawberry production. “Naturipe is one of the original California strawberry grower-shippers and have been farming for over 100 years,” said Jerry Moran, Naturipe’s senior... Read more
Cal Giant enhances connection with consumers
California Giant Berry Farms recently added a new software tool within its website that will help to connect more directly with shoppers, giving them greater access to the company’s brand and giving the strawberry shipper more information about its core customers. The new product locator tool allows shoppers to simply enter their zip code on the company website to narrow the search for California Giant berries closest to their address. The locator program... Read more
Giltner projecting healthy growth in 2019
Giltner Inc., a transportation provider based in Jerome, ID, is looking at 2019 as a year of growth. “We have plans to expand our fleet of company-owned trucks to 300, and increase GLS Carriers, the owner-operator arm, to 60 tractor-trailers,” said Dan Hawkins, vice president of corporate development.” Greg Paulson, chief executive officer of Giltner Inc.With a projected increase of 20 percent in 2019, Hawkins said a good portion of the growth will come from the... Read more
Genpro living up to its reputation for reliability and innovation
Genpro LLC is now in its 30th of year providing logistics for both produce and non-perishable foods. Rob Goldstein, president and owner of the Rutherford, NJ-based company, said that throughout its history the company has developed into one of the most reliable and innovative logistics providers in both categories. “Beyond giving customers 24/7 visibility into each shipment, Genpro provides a variety of solutions including spot, dedicated capacity, managed transportation,... Read more
Target Interstate Systems’ reputation, staff  behind the company’s ongoing growth
Target Interstate Systems Inc., headquartered at the Hunts Point Terminal Market in Bronx, NY, has seen strong and steady growth over the last few years. Evan Kazan, director of business development, said the growth is attributed to two main factors. “The first is due to our stellar reputation in the produce industry,” said Kazan. “We maintain memberships in the highest level of industry organizations. In addition, we have been the recipient of prestigious industry... Read more
Avocados strong sellers for Robinson Fresh as Cinco de Mayo approaches
While Robinson Fresh deals with a number of produce items that are popular come Cinco de Mayo — think limes, mangoes and chili pepper — the biggest year after year remains avocados. Gina Garven, vice president of commercial development and analytics for the Eden Prairie, MN-based company, said demand for avocados is growing rapidly in the United States, and over the last five years annual growth has been three to four times that of total produce growth. “There... Read more
Calavo Growers prepping for a busy Cinco de Mayo
Calavo Growers markets avocados from Mexico and California, and Cinco de Mayo is always a buzz-worthy time at the Santa Paula, CA-based company, as it’s the busiest time of the year with lots of excitement around its produce. “It’s obviously a big promotional event for avocados so it’s important to us,” said Rob Wedin, vice president, fresh sales. “It’s probably about a week and a half where we see about a 50 percent increase in volume. We need to prepare for it... Read more
Oppy shipping a myriad of  categories, new varieties from Chile
Chilean spring produce is here and Eric Coty, director of South American imports with Oppy, discussed how the season is shaping up across the importer’s myriad commodities. “Due to some heat in January, we expect smaller-than-normal sizing for plums, apples, pears and Asian pears across the industry. There is good size and quality on grapes at this point,” said Coty, who’s been traveling in Chile, getting a firsthand look at how the spring crops are taking shape. ... Read more
In April, Sonora jalapeño peppers will be shipped in “decent numbers,” according to Edgar Duarte, the general manager of Higueral Produce Inc. On March 20, Duarte said  Higueral was receiving a low volume of peppers from central and southern Sinaloa. Many Sinaloa crops — especially for growers around Los Mochis — were set back by cold early this year. In addition to fresh market sales, Higueral enjoys jalapeño contracts with pepper processors. By handling... Read more
Golden anniversary for Pexco Produce
It was 50 years ago when Pexco Produce Sales began in the produce business, and though it’s not looking to make a big deal of the anniversary, it is touting the achievement to its customers minimally on its price lists and invoices. Pexco Produce Sales is a grower, shipper and consolidator of domestic and international produce, working out of the Edward L. Myrick State Farmers Market in Pompano Beach, FL. Carol Iwaniszyn, J.T. Guida, Mike Yates, Lily Chacon,... Read more
Christopher Ranch seeing big numbers with organic heirloom garlic
Although Christopher Ranch is based in Gilroy, CA, the 63-year-old company has always looked to expand into more domestic markets, which is why having a distribution facility in Pompano, FL, is important. “It gives us the ability to have a foothold in the Southeast as roughly 10 percent of our sales are currently concentrated in this area, and we’d like to continue to expand that footprint,” said Ken Christopher, a third-generation garlic farmer and executive vice... Read more
Bagged avocado sales continue to impress, Calavo says
There may be no greater indicator of U.S. consumers’ continued love affair with the avocado than the growing number of sales in the bagged category. After all, a buyer of a bag of avocados is, almost by definition, self-identifying as a heavy user. “In January of 2019, we saw a 30 percent increase in bagged sales over January of 2017,” said Rob Wedin, vice president of fresh sales and marketing for Calavo Growers Inc. in Santa Paula, CA. “It’s fascinating to watch.... Read more