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Viva Tierra Organic celebrates Washington roots, spotlights growers

Strong local roots and great growers. Those are the key elements that organic produce marketer Viva Tierra Organic Inc. credits for two decades of success in the produce business.

Luis Acuña, president and chief executive officer of the Sedro-Woolley, WA-based company, noted that the company has been privileged to support the development of Washington’s organic tree fruit industry from the start.

“Without our connections with pioneering local growers, people willing to take risks to learn to successfully grow fruit using organic methods, we wouldn’t have the vibrant organic marketplace that we enjoy today,” he said. “We owe them a great deal of thanks for all their hard work. Our company’s success is, quite literally, based on fruitful relationships with our growers.”

Growers like Leigh and Gordon Pobst of Golden Harbor Orchards in Orondo, WA, exemplify this pioneering spirit and organic commitment.

The Pobsts have marketed their apples through Viva Tierra since first transitioning to organic production in 1999. They grow organic Ambrosia, Braeburn, Gala, Granny Smith, Fuji, Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Spitzenberg and Winesap apples on 60 acres on the banks of the Columbia River.

“Being a farmer is extremely challenging, so having a partnership built on trust, respect and shared values like we have with Viva Tierra is of great benefit,” said Leigh Pobst. “It’s extremely important to be able to rely on each other. We all have the same goal of getting high-quality, wholesome fruit to consumers, even though we have different roles to play to achieve that goal.”

The Pobsts have their own packingshed and cold storage on their farm so they can control all aspects of quality from growing and harvesting through packing and shipping. Their commitment to detail really shows, and their fruit is in high demand for export markets with stringent quality standards.

“GHO’s apples are really top notch,” said Tryg McInerny, a sales representative for Viva Tierra Organic. “They pack under their own brand, ‘Clipper,’ and have developed a strong following of customers who know just how special their fruit is. They just do an amazing job at every step of the way.”

In celebration of its 20th anniversary this year, the company changed its name to Viva Tierra Organic Inc. from CF Fresh Inc. This brought the company name in line with its primary brand identity, the well-known “Viva Tierra Organic” label, which has been in continuous use since the company was founded in 1993.

The company also markets organic products packed under growers’ and customers’ own labels.

Viva Tierra Organic Inc. is an organic marketer providing fresh, certified-organic produce to retail chains and wholesalers throughout North America as well as exporting to Europe and Asia.

With growers in the western United States, Chile and Argentina, Viva Tierra Organic Inc. offers a year-round supply of high-quality organic apples, pears, onions and stone fruits.