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Malena hires new salesman, expands cold storage at firm’s Nogales warehouse

Malena Produce Inc., which is located in the Rio Rico Industrial Park just north of Nogales, AZ, has recently added 15,000 square feet of cold storage space to the company’s warehouse, according to Gonzalo Avila, vice president and general manager. Racking has been installed in 10,000 square feet of the new addition.

“We have also moved into that new area the forced-air precooling unit that we use in case produce comes in from Mexico not at the right temperature,” he said. That enables the company to cool the product down to the proper temperature upon its arrival in Nogales.

The company has also brought a new member of the sales team on board with the approach 2011-12 season. Rod Everette, who was previously with Sunfed, “has been in the industry over 30 years,” Mr. Avila said.

New in Malena’s product offerings this fall and winter will be a pickle program, with “pickles for jarring and for fresh consumption,” Mr. Avila said. The pickles will be coming from the Culiacan area in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico.

Everything else will be “the same” as last year for the coming season, he said Sept. 30. “We still have our big deals in the colored Bell peppers and the eggplant and regular open-field Bell peppers and squash and cucumbers.”

Production in Mexico, both in Sinaloa and in southern Sonora, could be affected by “some water shortage issues” this year, Mr. Avila said. “There have been rains,” but they have occurred “mainly in the valleys and not up in the mountains where we have the water reservoirs.”

The situation could still improve if sufficient rain is received over the next month or so, but if not, the low water levels in the reservoirs could lead to a reduction in planted acreage, he said.