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Industry Viewpoint: A love letter to grocery stores
As our society is faced with uncertainty, navigating the rough waters of COVID-19, the grocery stores have found themselves on the front lines of serving the public and keeping shoppers safe. Quickly shifting strategy, meeting shopper demand, abbreviating hours and reconfiguring staffing to support the surge of customers. While Read More ...
Tools of the trade show
This time one month ago the Southeast Produce Council held its 2020 Southern Exposure. Those were the good old days, and boy, what most of us wouldn’t give to go to a trade show now. The recent cancellations of Viva Fresh and CPMA are making people within the industry realize how much they miss trade shows. Not only did a Read More ...
TastyFrutti taking things one day at a time
Since 1984, TastyFrutti, located in Philadelphia, PA, has served as a major importer and domestic shipper of fresh fruit, with distribution throughout the United States and Canada. One of its main products is grapes, which it sources from Chile and other countries, providing them year-round for customers. These grapes Read More ...
Industry Viewpoint: Insights to build a tropical program for your business
Shoppers want fresh flavors in their everyday diets, a trend that’s easy to see in the rising sales of tropical commodities. Yet, in a complex category with more than 30 different commodities, retailers are challenged to merchandise, price and promote tropical items that enhance performance of the entire department. It’s Read More ...
Chilean crops looking strong
It is currently the heart of the Chilean grape and stone fruit seasons, and the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association has lots of good news to report. With stone fruit, harvests of nectarines and peaches are practically finished as 17,053 tons of nectarines (23 percent of total export volume) have been shipped to North America, Read More ...
$1M drug shipment is (not) totally bananas
U.S. Customs & Border Protection Office of Field Operations at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility intercepted a commercial shipment arriving from Mexico that contained more than fresh produce. CBP officers discovered 4,616 pounds of alleged marijuana hidden within the banana boxes that were destined for the Read More ...

Associated Produce opens new ‘CASH’n’CARRY’ division

Associated Produce Inc. came on to the fresh produce industry in 2008, and since then, it has grown tremendously fast. The company is located on Casanova Street, just outside of the Hunts Point terminal market in the Bronx, NY.

Dimitri Soyfer, president of the firm, told The Produce News that its strongest focus is on tropical fruits and vegetables, but that it now also carries a full line of conventional produce.

In early April, the company opened a new division called Associated Produce CASH’n’CARRY, which is located in the company’s newly expanded facility at the same location.

DSCN0532Dimitri Soyfer, president of Associated Produce with Purchasing & Sales Manager Michael Turco. (Photo by Debbie Negron)“We expanded into the warehouse next door,” said Mr. Soyfer. “The space is 7,000 square feet, which, when added to our existing 15,000 square feet, puts us at 22,000. Our fast and steady growth dictated this expansion. By increasing our product line to all categories of fruits and vegetables — and even grocery items — we are now a one-stop shop for our customers.”

He noted that in the few years since he started the company, it has grown to be one of the larger tropical fruit and vegetable companies in the area. Its tropical produce items are produced by its growing partners in South and Central America, as well as domestically. It packages its fruits and vegetables under “Associated Produce” and “Valdi” brands.

Mr. Soyfer said that a new hire made the transition into a conventional line of fresh produce smooth but strong.

“Michael Turco joined us recently,” he said. “He has a long and reputable history in the fresh produce industry, and his family members were in it before him. Michael is handling commercial sales for Associated Produce.”

Mr. Soyfer has a unique background in the fresh produce industry. He originally focused on exporting Florida citrus to Russia. And he handled all of the financials and marketing for the export business, which he said is his expertise. It was a natural entrance into the produce business for him because he is from Russia He jokingly says that people refer to him as the Russian Casanova. But people are mostly surprised to see this young company flourish and expand so quickly.

Associated Produce’s facility provides an unbroken cold chain to properly handle the company’s now extensive line, 90 percent of which is purchased direct from farms. Each room of the warehouse has ethylene filters with atmosphere controlled exhaust.

“The facility’s equipment insures quality and extends the shelf life of the product that we deliver to our customers,” said Mr. Soyfer. “New software enables us to trace produce down to the box, to the farm and even to the field where it was produced.”

“Our fleet of trucks ensures orders make deliveries in a timely fashion,” he continued. “We pride ourselves on carrying the best quality at rock bottom prices. No customer is too big or too small: they can buy one box or a container load, and will get the same great service in every instance. Our business depends on the success of our customers and so we do everything in our power to give them the tools they need to succeed.”

The company also supports local growers during their production seasons.

“Our company has moved from a very quiet spot to a really strong business in a very short amount of time,” said Mr. Soyfer.

“And our growth has only just begun. Once a customer finds out about Associated Produce, they become regular steady customers. We like to look at them as our partners,” he added.

Industry Viewpoint: A love letter to grocery stores
As our society is faced with uncertainty, navigating the rough waters of COVID-19, the grocery stores have found themselves on the front lines of serving the public and keeping shoppers safe. Quickly shifting strategy, meeting shopper demand, abbreviating hours and reconfiguring staffing to support the surge of customers. While Read More ...
Tools of the trade show
This time one month ago the Southeast Produce Council held its 2020 Southern Exposure. Those were the good old days, and boy, what most of us wouldn’t give to go to a trade show now. The recent cancellations of Viva Fresh and CPMA are making people within the industry realize how much they miss trade shows. Not only did a Read More ...
TastyFrutti taking things one day at a time
Since 1984, TastyFrutti, located in Philadelphia, PA, has served as a major importer and domestic shipper of fresh fruit, with distribution throughout the United States and Canada. One of its main products is grapes, which it sources from Chile and other countries, providing them year-round for customers. These grapes Read More ...
Industry Viewpoint: Insights to build a tropical program for your business
Shoppers want fresh flavors in their everyday diets, a trend that’s easy to see in the rising sales of tropical commodities. Yet, in a complex category with more than 30 different commodities, retailers are challenged to merchandise, price and promote tropical items that enhance performance of the entire department. It’s Read More ...
Chilean crops looking strong
It is currently the heart of the Chilean grape and stone fruit seasons, and the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association has lots of good news to report. With stone fruit, harvests of nectarines and peaches are practically finished as 17,053 tons of nectarines (23 percent of total export volume) have been shipped to North America, Read More ...
$1M drug shipment is (not) totally bananas
U.S. Customs & Border Protection Office of Field Operations at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility intercepted a commercial shipment arriving from Mexico that contained more than fresh produce. CBP officers discovered 4,616 pounds of alleged marijuana hidden within the banana boxes that were destined for the Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse