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Southern Specialties hosts Step Upp leadership class

Southern Specialties, a grower, importer, processor and shipper of a variety of specialty products grown in Central America, South America, Mexico, Canada and the United States, hosted the 2013 Southeast Produce Council Step Upp leadership class for an educational presentation and tour of the company's facility in Pompano Beach, FL, on Aug. 1.

Ten members from this year's class were accompanied by Faye Westfall (Dimare Fresh), chairman; Joe Watson (Rouses), co-chairman; Tom Page (Supervalu-retired), co-chairman;20Members of the Step Upp program touring Southern Specialties’ facilities. and Andrew Scott, president of the Southeast Produce Council, during the visit.

"Each Step Upp class tours farms and facilities in the Southeast, and it is a great opportunity for future leaders in produce to get first-hand exposure to the many facets of our industry," Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for Southern Specialties, said in a press release. "We are pleased to have been selected by the leaders of this group to give a presentation focused on South Florida as a gateway into the U.S. for fruits and vegetables from Central and South America. Our company has been growing in the Americas for over 22 years, and we have gained expertise in growing, processing, warehousing and distributing safe, high-quality specialty produce from all regions."

Robert Colescott, president and chief executive officer of Southern Specialties, joined Southern Specialties' executives and members of its sales teams in greeting the 2013 STEP-UPP class.

A presentation by Tim Meissner, chief operating officer, addressed the 3 billion pounds of produce from Central America and South America that enter the country through South Florida each year. The presentation touched on growing, importing, processing and quality assurance.

The class also learned the significant role imported produce has played in the increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables in the United States.