“Unseasonably cool weather has affected Florida’s spring crops this year,” Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for Southern Specialties, headquartered in Pompano Beach, FL, told The Produce News in early March. “We are moving specialty tomatoes in Homestead. Our line includes Heirloom, Medley, tear drop and yellow beefsteak tomatoes in varying quantities. The cool weather has slowed production on all of our tomato items.”
Southern Specialties grows, imports and processes approximately 50 products that it offers in hundreds of SKUs. Its customers are foodservice operations, retailers, club stores and wholesalers across the United States and in Canada. Its products are sold under the “Southern Selects,” “Paradise Tropicals” and “Today’s Gourmet” labels. It also offers private labeling for its customers.
The company is also strongly focused on developing packaging that showcases its products, enhances the shelf life and provides convenience and information for the consumer.
Its line of fresh produce includes asparagus, french beans, sugar snap peas, yellow beans, snow peas, baby carrots, rainbow carrots, brussels sprouts and specialty peppers.
“We are also currently pulling specialty variety peppers from central Florida,” said Mr. Eagle. “Volumes on these crops are also light due to the inclement weather. We will be pulling our specialty peppers from Homestead by late March.”
Southern Specialties’ Florida blueberry deal was scheduled to crank up on March 18. Mr. Eagle said the company would open the program with 4.4-ounce clamshells under the “Southern Selects” label.
As volumes increase, a couple of weeks into the movement, we will have six-ounce clamshells available, also with our ‘Southern Selects’ label,” said Mr. Eagle. “We expect the blueberry season to run through May. We will be loading out of Pompano Beach and Haines City, Florida.”