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Michel Picandet named head of TOMRA Food
Michel Picandet has been appointed executive vice president and head of TOMRA Food. He joined the company Jan. 1 and will be based at the TOMRA Food headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. In his new role, he will be in charge of the company’s three brands: TOMRA Food, Compac and BBC Technologies. “I am delighted that Michel is joining our management team," said Stefan Ranstrand, president and chief executive officer of TOMRA. "He is a highly strategic, global business... Read more
South Carolina's Martin Eubanks has died
Martin L. Eubanks, who spent almost his entire career with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, died late Saturday evening Jan. 18, at Augusta University Medical Center in Augusta, GA. He was 59 years old and a resident of Lexington, SC. Mr. Eubanks died following a freak accident he had at home on Jan. 9, which resulted in a broken neck in part of the spinal region causing severe damage, according to information provided by his son, John Martin Eubanks. Mr.... Read more
Art Vega joins Sev-Rend as VP of business development
Sev-Rend has hired Art Vega as its new vice president of business development. Bringing Vega on lines up with Sev-Rend’s goals to further service its clients in key industries with high-performance packaging. This move allows Sev-Rend to expand its footprint even further in the consumer packaging world. “Art brings a wealth of knowledge to our team that will allow us to grow as a strategic partner with our new and existing clients,” said Greg Petermeyer, chief... Read more
California Giant Berry Farms expands executive team
California Giant Berry Farms kicked off the new year by adding a new member to its executive team, welcoming Sean Martin as chief financial officer to the growing company. Martin will supersede Dan Nicola as he begins his transition into retirement after serving as CFO for more than 30 years with the company. Nicola has been a strong and vital asset to the executive team, and a long-term friend to all at California Giant through his expansive and prosperous career. “I’d... Read more
With 40 years of retail experience, Terry Cook joins Trucco
Produce executives never underestimate the value of people who have decades of experience in the field. Terry Cook, who joined Hunts Point Terminal Market-based Trucco as retail sales representative last year, brings 40 years of experience to the company — and he brings another valuable trait: his experience is in the retail sector. “I came from the buying side to the selling side,” explained Cook, who is working from Florida in his new position. “I joined SuperValu... Read more
Varcode continues growth with new business development hires
Varcode, maker of patented digital, time and temperature sensitive supply chain solutions, has hired two new supply chain industry veterans to focus on business sales and account management. Erin Morant and Bruce Truesdale bring more than 40 years of combined industry experience to Varcode’s team serving the food and beverage, pharma and life science industries. “As we continue to commercialize the business, it’s imperative that we have the appropriate skills and... Read more
Marketing veteran joins Ten Acre Marketing
Erin Dickson, with over 20 years of experience in agriculture and marketing, has joined Ten Acre marketing as senior vice president of strategy. “I am absolutely thrilled for Erin to come on board. We’ve working together in the past, and our skills and energies really complement each other,” said Leah Halverson, chief executive officer of the company. “She thinks strategically and creatively to find opportunities for success and has a passion to help others thrive.... Read more
Wisconsin native elected president of National Onion Association
Wisconsin native Doug Bulgrin has been elected president of the National Onion Association and will serve as the nationwide organization’s chief for the next two years.The National Onion Association was incorporated in 1913 and represents more than 500 onion growers, shippers, packers and suppliers throughout the United States. He is the 32nd president of the National Onion Association. Trustees of the NOA elected him to the position in December during the organization’s... Read more
Thirteen members and 11 alternate members have been appointed by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to serve on the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. The appointees will serve three-year terms from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2022. The 20-member council is composed of 12 producers, four importers, two exporters, one handler and one public member. Each member seat has a corresponding alternate seat. Members and alternates can serve up to two consecutive... Read more
Eden Valley Growers Inc., one of the oldest and largest vegetable farm sales cooperatives in New York, added George Barker to its sales and procurement team. Barker brings over 40 years of experience in the produce business to Eden Valley. Barker began his career in 1975 as a produce clerk for Tops Markets of Buffalo. When he left Tops in the early 1990s Barker had attained the position of produce buyer/category manager. Barker eventually joined C&S Wholesale... Read more
Greenhouse pioneer retires from Sun Valley Farms
After 26 years in the USA Greenhouse industry, Dave Fahrenbruch is retiring from Sun Valley Farms Inc. of Loveland, CO. In 1993 Fahrenbruch started with Colorado Greenhouse as the vice president of sales and marketing, responsible for over 260 acres of production with greenhouse sites in Colorado, New Mexico and Mexico. Six years later he left and co-founded SunBlest Farms, a niche 12-acre greenhouse grower in Payton, CO, and stewarded the company’s expansion by... Read more
Vision Produce Co. hires Scott Levario
Scott Levario has joined Vision Produce Co. and will be located in its Phoenix office. He will help grow the company's sales, procurement and distribution. Levario has an extensive background, which includes tenure at Safeway, holding positions of management in merchandising, buying and procurement.  Most recently he was regional director of procurement for Renaissance Food Group. “We are excited to have Scott join our team here in Phoenix," said Lance Nichols,... Read more
Produce Marketing Association names new chief science officer
Produce Marketing Association announced Max Teplitski has accepted the role of chief science officer for the association. Teplitski will lead PMA’s science, technology, supply chain and sustainability efforts when he joins the organization in January 2020. He brings a wealth of experience in leading national food-safety and nutrition programs, building and sustaining private-public partnerships, and globally recognized accomplishments in science and scientific... Read more
G&R Farms announces new operations manager
Michael Sutton, who has more than 40 years of experience in the produce industry, has been named operations manager of G&R Farms, one of Georgia’s oldest growers of Vidalia sweet onions. During an impressive career with Georgia’s Federal State Inspection Service, Sutton earned certification as a produce inspector and auditor by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He served as a district supervisor with a broad range of responsibilities, including personnel... Read more
Anita Fial: An industry veteran you should know
For more than half a century, Anita Fial helped shape the way Americans thought about food, and how the fresh produce industry communicated to consumers. From avocados to radishes, tomatoes to sweet potatoes, and sweet corn to blueberries Anita Fial worked with grower and shipper organizations, family-owned brands and multi-national corporations. She helped grow consumption by getting people to rethink their relationship with food and the people that touch it along... Read more
Produce industry veteran John Lazopoulos Jr. takes on new role with World Fresh Produce
On Dec. 5, World Fresh Produce Inc., headquartered in Cherry Hill, NJ, announced that John Lazopoulos Jr., a produce industry veteran, had joined the leading grower, importer and shipper as vice president of operations. Lazopoulos started his nearly 40-year career in the fresh produce industry when he was still studying to earn his bachelor's degree in agriculture economics/agricultural business management — a double degree — from the University of Delaware... Read more
Pearson names Arizona Agriculturalist of the Year
The Arizona Department of Agriculture partnered with the Governor Doug Ducey’s office and gave out the Governor’s Awards for Agriculture on Dec. 2. Cindi Pearson was the recipient of the Arizona Agriculturist of the Year. Mark Killian, director of the Department of Agriculture, and Gilbert Davidson, chief operating officer for Governor Doug Ducey's office, presented the award.Gilbert Davidson, chief operating officer for Governor Doug Ducey's office; Mark Killian,... Read more
Produce marketing veteran joins Starr Ranch Growers
Krista Beckstead, a produce industry marketing veteran, joined Starr Ranch Growers as a marketing and brand specialist. In the new role for the company, Beckstead will work on brand strategy, product development and overall marketing activities. “We are thrilled to have Krista’s marketing and branding experience coupled with her produce industry insight as part of our team,” said Dan Davis, director of business development. “We are growing and expanding our business,... Read more
SEPC to honor Rick Estess at Southern Exposure
The Southeast Produce Council will present Rick Estess of RPE Inc. with its highest honor during the SEPC Southern Exposure conference and trade show at the end of February. Estess, business development manager at RPE, a vertically integrated category expert in potato and onion growth, will receive the Terry Vorhees Lifetime Achievement Award at the keynote brunch during Southern Exposure, set for Feb. 27-29, 2020, in Tampa, FL.Rick Estess David Sherrod, the council's... Read more
Eastside & Westside Markets' Olson retires after 43 years
Terry Olson hosted about 100 past employees at her Manhattan, KS, home on Nov. 24. This was the celebration of her retirement from owning and operating Eastside & Westside Markets. Olson has sold fresh produce and plants from these retail outlets since 1976. She began selling produce door to door as a child. As she ramped up her retail business as a young woman, she would drive 240 miles round-trip to Kansas City to buy from wholesalers. In Manhattan, the... Read more