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COMPANY PROFILES

Red Sun Farms’ greenhouse organic program a huge success
Red Sun Farms, headquartered in Leamington, ON, began shipping both conventional and organic grape and cluster tomatoes from its new Dublin, VA, greenhouse facility last September. Jim DiMenna, company president, told The Produce News that it has been an amazing opportunity, and that the organic line is enjoying huge acceptance and success. “We fell right in line with a really great market, and the quality of our first crop was beyond our expectations,” said DiMenna.... Read more
Village Farms expands existing line with ‘True Rebel’ tomato mix
There is always a lot going on at Village Farms LP. The Heathrow, FL-based company recently expanded its “Olde World Flavor” collection with “True Rebel Mix,” a unique combination of four to six different flavorful plump tomato varieties. “Each variety has a distinct shape and flavor,” Douglas Kling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, said. “The mix combines a selection of brilliant colors that range from red, orange, yellow, green and brown, providing... Read more
Sunny Valley hosts first sustainability training session
Glassboro, NJ-based Sunny Valley International hosted a sustainability training session Feb. 20 in conjunction with the Jersey Fruit Cooperative Association for New Jersey stone fruit and blueberry growers. Chad Puschel, a sales associate and account manager at Sunny Valley, wrote the grant for the training session last year and has been busy planning and organizing the event ever since.Chad Puschel “I wrote [the grant] for the Jersey Fruit Co-Op to bring it into... Read more
Prime Time’s Nogales deal revs up in February, March
Mike Aiton, director of marketing for Prime Time International, said the company’s Nogales deal is in full swing. The company is headquartered in Coachella, CA, maintaining a year-round office in Nogales, AZ. The Arizona office is headed by Eric Meyer who just came aboard as its sales manager. February and March are peak production months for Prime Time International’s Nogales colored pepper deal. “We had some problems [during hurricane season], but that’s all... Read more
Volm’s new packaging line offers convenience, breathability
Volm Cos. Inc., an industry leader in providing quality packaging and equipment solutions to the fresh produce industry, recently introduced a new line of packaging, the Half-N-Half Pouch. This new innovation in pouch packaging offers the convenience of a stand-up pouch along with added breathability by incorporating an eco-friendly Ultratech mesh panel into the bag.   "We expanded our packaging portfolio last year to focus on pouches for fresh produce,”... Read more
Grower Alliance enjoying  a ‘pretty busy’ time
RIO RICO, AZ — Describing his upcoming shipping plans, Jorge Quintero, Jr., concluded, “We will be pretty busy.” The bear of a young man then flashed his infectious, big, warm grin. He is very humble but deservedly happy about the ongoing success of his distribution company. Quintero is the managing partner of Grower Alliance, LLC, based here. “We’ve been going full blast since November,” he said in mid-January. In the Rio Rico, AZ, conference room of his company... Read more
Ciruli places renewed emphasis on round mangos
RIO RICO, AZ — Over the last decade in its successful effort to establish the “Champagne” brand for its shippers’ Ataulfo mangos, Ciruli Bros. LLC reduced the firm’s earlier focus on marketing round mango varieties. In recent years, Ciruli handled some of these, but “there hasn’t been real volume,” according to Chris Ciruli, chief operating officer of Ciruli Bros. Chris and his brother Charles (Chuck) Ciruli III, chief executive officer of the company, said that... Read more
A passion for great food drives George DeLallo Co. 
“At DeLallo, we are meticulous about our ingredients, careful to select just the right flavors and use only the best quality ingredients,” said Giuliana Pozzuto, marketing director of The George DeLallo Co., headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. “What’s so distinct about our family-owned-and-operated company is our passion for great food, and we’ve been doing it for over 60 years.” She added that while it’s apparent that the company’s “SaladSavors” are made for topping... Read more
Pacific AgPak has abundant  options for strawberry producers
There is an adage that if you are not moving forward you are going backward, and that certainly seems to be the philosophy of Watsonville, CA-based Pacific AgPak, the trade name of Pacific Agricultural Packaging. “Every year we try to come up with something new and different to help the growers and the retailers,” said Dave Baum, president and owner of the 25-year-old firm. Pacific AgPak offers numerous clamshell options to best suit the needs of strawberry producers.Founded... Read more
Seald Sweet ‘growing forward,’ looking for new U.S. opportunities
From its North American headquarters in Vero Beach, FL, Seald Sweet International and its global partner the Belgium-based UNIVEG Group are positioned as an international fruit “gateway to North America” and are looking forward to having home field advantage at the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure trade show in Orlando Feb. 26-28. While the century old Seald Sweet is best known as a full line citrus grower-shipper, the product line has expanded considerably... Read more
Spice World looking forward to eighth year exhibiting  at Southern Exposure
“We’ll be at Booth No. 215 at the Southern Exposure expo, and we’re looking forward to it,” said Louis Hymel, director of purchasing and marketing for Spice World Inc., headquartered in Orlando, FL. “I’ll be joined by Chris Whitson, vice president of sales; Mitch DiMarco, director of foodservice and other executive and staff members; Drew Caneza, Arden Laughter and Jon Buchwald,” he added. Hymel noted that Spice World has been a member of the Southeast Produce... Read more
Phillips Mushroom Farms to promote organics at Southern Exposure
“There is considerably more interest in organic mushrooms today, and sales continue to grow,” Kevin Donovan, national sales manager for Phillips Mushroom Farms in Kennett Square, PA, told The Produce News. “We’ll therefore be promoting them again strongly at our booth, number 205, at the Southern Exposure expo.” He noted that organic sales’ increases are substantial, and that the company’s customers are more interested than ever in promoting and selling organics... Read more
Village Farms’ ‘Heavenly Villagio Marzano’ tomato continues to increase in demand
Douglas Kling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Village Farms LP, headquartered in Heathrow, FL, told The Produce News that the company will continue to feature its exclusive “Heavenly Villagio Marzano,” tomato, an authentic mini San Marzano tomato which is exclusive to Village Farms, at the 2015 Southern Exposure Conference & Expo at the Caribe Royale All Suite Hotel & Convention Center in Orlando, FL, on Feb. 26-28. “And we’ll be... Read more
With Jan. 25, 2015 representing WP Rawl’s 90th anniversary, the company is commemorating by hosting a reception for the produce industry at the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure event in February. Ashley Rawl, vice president of sales, marketing and product development, and a third-generation family member of the Pelion, SC-based company, said everyone at the company is excited to share the celebration for Southern Exposure guests and colleagues at Booth... Read more
NOGALES, AZ — Lance Jungmeyer speaks without hesitation when asked about his highest professional priority. “Social responsibility,” said Jungmeyer, the president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas. “We want to help our members understand how to communicate the things they are already doing” to benefit their farm workers in a socially-responsible manner. Jungmeyer noted that December’s Los Angeles Times four-piece exposé “added pressure to show what... Read more
NOGALES, AZ — A four-part Los Angeles Times exposé in December ripped Mexican produce growers and their distributors in Nogales. The report included photos and video of very bad field worker living conditions. The fact that the reporter did not include the countless socially responsible growers and distributor-partners raised the question of the reporter’s motives. Nogales distributors by and large felt burned by the LA Times. Omar Losolla, director of sales... Read more
HERMOSILLO, SONORA — With the leadership of Mexico’s table grape industry believing in the need for growers to be connected with the world’s most advanced technicians, the industry has presented national growers with a technical production seminar. For the second time, starting in 2013, Asociación Agricola Local de Productores Uva de Mesa Frutas y Hortalizas, based here, presented the Feb. 5-6 conference at a modern, Tuscany-style convention center in Hermosillo. The... Read more
HERMOSILLO, SONORA — Alan Aguirre, director general of Grupo Alta, headquartered here, is very highly respected in Mexico and the Nogales produce circle. Aguirre acknowledged that he is best known as a strict perfectionist. A Feb. 4 tour of two of his many Mexican horticultural ranches showed what can be accomplished with such perfectionism. The tour involved a group of 17 speakers and special guests who would attend the Feb. 5-6 second International Vine Symposium... Read more
NOGALES, AZ — The Mexican tomato industry is into its second full shipping season of working under the United States’ price floor for Mexican tomatoes. Voicing concern against this agreement is one of the largest shippers of Mexican tomatoes, Alejandro Canelos, director of Apache Produce Imports LLC, which ships the “Plain Jane” brand. “I was one of many people here in Nogales that were arguing two years ago for a continuation of the suspension agreement, but... Read more
RIO RICO, AZ — Good communication between growers and distributors, atop stable markets for consumers, are good for business, in the view of Jose Luis Obregon, president of IPR Fresh, which is based here. Obregon said Mexican grower communications with Nogales-area distributors such as IPR have improved. “If people are informed, they are planning better.” Generally, he said, “The market is very informed. There are more sources of information now.” This spring... Read more