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Pacificpro moves into new space to accommodate growth

Pacificpro is a distributor of Washington state and California fresh produce to all regions of the United States., specializing in apples, pears, potatoes, onions and citrus, and also market and ship cherries, stone fruit, asparagus, squash and most other items from the West Coast growing regions.

“Since our company’s founding in 1988, our primary items have been apples and pears, which still constitute the largest percentage of our produce mix,” said Randy Hartmann, president of the Bellevue, WA-based company. “Working closely with a large amount of the preeminent growers/shippers on the West Coast, we procure, inspect, consolidate and transport to receivers nationwide, handling the entire process from order to delivery.”

IMG 3759Pacificpro held a Christmas sweater party day this year to celebrate the holidays.Hartmann noted the company has been fortunate to see continual growth in most sectors.

“We believe any and all growth is a result of our skilled, knowledgeable, friendly and motivated team,” he said. “Our understanding of the fresh produce market as a third-generation Washington produce family, combined with strong relationships with our partners and friends throughout the supply chain, have been key to our ability to expand over the last decade.”

As such, Hartmann is also keeping track of all trends and he sees a couple items that continue to see an uptrend — organic apples and pears and new “club” apple varieties. 

“Many growers/shippers are expecting to continue to increase their organic plantings and offerings in the coming years and we expect this to constitute a larger percentage of our customers’ usage,” he said. “In addition, the club or trademarked varieties are finding a lot of traction with consumers and adding quite a bit of diversity at the retail level.”

The current apple season looks very strong quality-wise as good growing conditions and the absence of any substantial inclement weather during the growing months have resulted in a clean crop overall. The good growing conditions also contributed to one of the largest crops in Washington history.

“It’s a little early to know what the 2018 crop will look like, but assuming average weather conditions, we expect the quality, size and yield to continue to improve with new growing strategies, younger plantings, and new delicious and high-demand varieties,” Hartmann said.

Packaging in apples and pears has remained consistent, he added, composed primarily of tray pack and bags. However, he is seeing many packers, customers and ultimately consumers pivoting to the pouch bags in place of the standard 12/3 or 8/5 poly bags.

Company-wide, Pacificpro recently moved to some new office space to help facilitate its growth.

“We were busting at the seams in our previous space so we are grateful for the new, larger space with some cool bells and whistles, and to help facilitate the addition of new teammates in the coming years,” Hartmann said. “We continue to expand our cross-dock and consolidation services in Yakima, WA, at our CDX location.”

Additionally, the company opened its own logistics company the middle of 2017, Pacificpro Logistics, to help third-party customers with their logistical needs.

“We anticipate seeing continued growth here due to the vast experience of Matt Knight who manages the operation, and the anticipated changes to the transportation industry moving forward,” Hartmann said. “We continue to focus on our core business, partnering with our growers/shippers to provide our customers with the best quality, pricing and service to meet their business needs.”

In 2018, Pacificpro will expand its “Pop-up Produce” program, where it procures fresh produce donations and works in cooperation with Ballard Church in Seattle to distribute fresh produce to the growing homeless population. 

“We set up a ‘pop-up’ produce stand to allow those without access to these healthy food options a free shopping experience,” Hartmann said.

“Secondly, we are excited to add a couple new team members in the first quarter of 2018. These combined with the new corporate office space, the growing footprint of our consolidation and third-party logistics services through CDX and Pacificpro Logistics should make 2018 a great and fun year at Pacificpro, which we are all excited about and grateful to our industry partners for.”