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Gourmet Trading Co., headquartered in Los Angeles, anticipates a good asparagus season in 2013.

“We have the same acreage as last year,” Asparagus Procurement Manager James House told The Produce News. “We plan on having a little more volume this season compared to last year.”

The company packs asparagus at its facility in Pasco, WA. “We began harvesting April 2. We plan on harvesting until the beginning of June,” Mr. House stated.

GourmetTradingPhil Clouse, Washington grower field representative for Gourmet Trading Co., was named Washington Asparagus Person of the Year by the Washington Asparagus Commission. (Photo courtesy of Gourmet Trading Co.)Marketing Manager Chloé Varennes said Gourmet Trading packs bunched and bagged fresh green asparagus out of Washington under the “Gourmet Trading Co.” and “Green Giant Fresh” labels. “Our ‘Green Giant Fresh’ bagged asparagus features Box Tops for Education,” Ms. Varennes commented. “We also have the ability to do private label.”

Asparagus is marketed to a mix of retail and foodservice customers throughout North America, Europe and Japan.

Ms. Varennes said Gourmet Trading makes it easy for consumers to incorporate asparagus into meal planning. “Asparagus is becoming increasingly popular with consumers because it cooks quickly and adds a touch of elegance to any dish,” she said. “We have also seen demand for our Gourmet Trading Co. bagged asparagus. Consumers like how they can keep the asparagus in the shelf life extending bags while having the peace of mind about high food safety.”

Consumers’ love of grilling continues to thrive, and Gourmet Trading is responding in kind. “This Washington season, Gourmet Trading Co. has grilling asparagus POS available to all of our retail customers to promote grilling fresh asparagus on the barbecue this spring,” she added.

On another note, Ms. Varennes said the company was pleased to learn that Phil Clouse, Gourmet Trading’s Washington grower field representative, was named Washington Asparagus Person of the Year by the Washington Asparagus Commission.