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Southern Specialties highest volume shipper of Peruvian asparagus for seven consecutive years

For the seventh consecutive year, Southern Specialties was recognized as having the highest air cargo volume of Paruvian asparagus into the United Sates.

"We are proud to be the recipient of the Lan Cargo Award in recognition of having the highest air cargo volume of Peruvian asparagus with the company in 2012," said Carlos Solf, director of procurement for Southern Specialties, headquartered in Pompano Beach, FL. Carlos-SolfCarlos Solf"This is the seventh consecutive year that Lan Cargo has presented Southern Specialties with the award."

The glass plaque was presented to the company by Lan Cargo's Lima, Peru, division in early December.

Mr. Solf said that the total projected volume for asparagus imports to the United States from Peru in 2012 will tally approximately 17 million, 11-pound cases, which includes green, white and purple asparagus.

"Southern Specialties' Peruvian asparagus program represents the largest percentage of the total U.S. import figure," said Mr. Solf. "We still have good volumes [as of Dec. 7], and the quality of this year's crops has been very good due to beneficial growing conditions. Production, however, is slightly lower than it was in 2011. This is because some growers reduced their asparagusLan-AwardSouthern Specialties was the recipient of the 2012 Lan Cargo Award in recognition of having the highest air cargo volume of Peruvian asparagus into the United States for seven consecutive years. plantings and transitioned to other crops, such as avocados, grapes and citrus."

The company imports asparagus from Peru year round. It said that it has had a highly successful holiday period and that it has supported several retail customers with ads for the season.

"We're looking forward to a healthy 2013 as well," said Mr. Solf. "And although production in Peru was down slightly in 2012, our imports have remained normal. We expect that to continue into the new year."

Southern Specialties will begin its Mexican asparagus deal in the second week of January. It is in addition to its Peruvian program. Combined, shipments are expected to run through Easter with good promotional volumes. The company's Mexican program is out of Caborca in the state of Sonora.

The company offers asparagus in a variety of presentations under its "Southern Selects'" label. The line includes a variety of packaged value-added formats ideally suited for every consumer.

"We also offer asparagus tips," said Mr. Solf. "And we have a 325-gram of bunched asparagus, which is geared toward our Canadian customers. We also offer the traditional one-pound bunched green asparagus, and we offer it in all dimension sizes of asparagus. This is in addition to our white and purple asparagus offerings."