Agra Pro LLC in Nogales, AZ, a shipper, distributor and broker specializing in watermelons that was formed two years ago as a partnership between Mark Fletcher and Al Harrison Co. Distributors in Nogales, is now a sole proprietorship with Mr. Fletcher as owner and president.
Brent Harrison, president of Al Harrison Co., was previously president of Agra Pro and Mr. Fletcher was vice president.
“Brent and I were partners for a while” before dissolving the partnership. “We parted on very good terms,” Mr. Fletcher told The Produce News April 3.
Mr. Fletcher added that Agra Pro still does business with Harrison, and “there is no animosity whatsoever.”
Mr. Harrison confirmed to The Produce News the amicable relationship of the dissolution and the fact that the Al Harrison Co. and Agra Pro still continue to do business together.
Agra Pro sources watermelons from various producing areas, including Mexico, Costa Rica and the United States. Next year, the company will add Guatemala and is also working on putting together deals out of Belize and Nicaragua, Mr. Fletcher said.
Agra Pro also does custom packing for domestic watermelon producers.
Food safety is a major focus of the company, Mr. Fletcher said.
“Because of the food-safety issues, we want to pack for somebody who is certified — or, if they have a place that is not certified, we will try to get it certified. The food-safety deal is huge in this industry and needs to be addressed. We think there is a niche there. We want to be able to fully provide that for customers. That is really what we want to focus on.”
Mr. Fletcher said he thinks that within the next two years, “if you are not [food-safety] certified you are not going to be able to sell your produce. Or, if you do, you are not going to be able to sell it to the right people.”