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Fifth generation now involved with business at Nardelli Brothers

Bill Nardelli, president of Nardelli Brothers Inc. in Cedarville, NJ, told The Produce News earlier in May that the firm was shipping its full line of New Jersey mixed greens.

“All the wet crops, including beets, leeks, parsleys, cilantro, lettuces and other leafy greens have been shipping since early April,” Mr. Nardelli said May 10. “The weather was a little cool and wet early on, but the quality of all the crops is very good, and we’re getting strong interest on the wet items. These products will run into July.”

By late May to early June, Nardelli Brothers will be starting with green and yellow squash, peppers, eggplant and all other dry items. Its extensive line also includes blueberries, peaches, nectarines, corn, cabbage and lettuces.

The company sells to retailers, foodservice operators, food processors and wholesalers, and it ships to all points east of the Mississippi River as well as to eastern Canada.

“We do a lot of packing and repacking for retailers,” said Mr. Nardelli. “We accommodate custom and 24-pack sizes. Although we handle the full line of Jersey produce, we also bring product in from other states during the off-season. Our farms in Cedarville and Vineland produce over 80 items.”

Nardelli Brothers has been in business since the late 1800s. Mr. Nardelli’s sons, Bill Jr. and Jim II (who was named after Mr. Nardelli’s father) are the fifth generation to work in the company.

“Bill Jr. is finishing his studies at the University of Delaware in agribusiness,” said Mr. Nardelli. “Jim is finishing high school. They both work in the business. Jim is very interested in production agriculture, and Bill Jr. enjoys the sales, buying and trading side. They mingle well together, and they’ll be a big help to me when they’re here full time.”

The firm is self-sufficient in that it owns its growing, distribution, trucking, cooling and icing and sales sides of the business. Its trucking division was started in 1941.

Mr. Nardelli noted that the company recently updated its Vineland facility. “It is now equipped with temperature controlled docks so the cold chain is unbroken during loading and unloading,” said Mr. Nardelli. “We also built a new office in Vineland because we needed more space for our staff. Our main office and farm in Cedarville is constantly being updated and expanded.”

The firm also operates “a large number of modern produce farms within close proximity to our Cedarville headquarters,” said Mr. Nardelli. “And we still own and operate our original main family farm that was started by the first generation Nardelli in 1898.”

He added that every acre of the company’s farming operations are fully irrigated using the most modern farming techniques available. Its practices and products are USDA certified, and the company is audited by third-party, USDA-approved inspectors for quality and sanitation.

“Product is very good quality this year, and the local movement is very strong,” said Mr. Nardelli. “Chainstores are supporting locally grown produce very well. The quality and [timing] seem to be just about right this year. We started a little slow because of weather, but it picked up nicely. Cooler weather is great for leaf items because it results in heartier product.”