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In it  for the long haul...
The Fresh Solutions Network has tapped into the secret ingredient for growth in the potato category — convenience. By delivering what consumers want most, the San Francisco-based, North American network of potato and onion farmers has achieved year-over-year growth, despite the static to declining sales that have engulfed the fresh potato category for the last decade. “At Fresh Solutions, we have honed in on the convenience-minded consumer for a long time,” said... Read more
Potandon Produce positions itself as ‘the Healthy Potato Company’
The home page of the Potandon Produce LLC website now sports the trademarked slogan, “We are The Healthy Potato Company.” It is not just an idle boast. According to Carter Bray, director of product marketing and development for Idaho Falls, ID-based Potandon, the company rolled out its new corporate positioning as the Healthy Potato Company a year ago and with that also introduced a new proprietary low-carbohydrate potato variety branded CarbSmart with 27 percent... Read more
New season brings new facility and faces to Snake River Produce
Though it hasn’t been without a learning curve, the 2018-19 shipping season at Snake River Produce in Nyssa, OR, has by and large been positive thus far, according to General Manager Kay Riley. Riley said just prior to Thanksgiving that the new 30,000-square-foot packing/office facility has resulted in increased capacity and efficiency, and with both good volume and sizing in this year’s crop of Spanish Sweets the operation expects to move approximately 30 percent... Read more
Skyline Potato sees bigger  volume and size profile for ‘18
Harvest was good this year in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, and Skyline Potato GM Les Alderete said his Center operation was moving a bigger crop and larger spuds this season. Going into the Thanksgiving holiday week, Alderete told The Produce News prices were holding and demand was good. Skyline Potato General Manager Les Alderete said in mid-November his Center, CO, operation was seeing good movement and steady prices thus far in the 2018-19 potato shipping... Read more
River Point Farms committed to providing top-quality onions
Doing business out of Hermiston, OR, River Point Farms is a fresh, sustainable grower, packer, fresh-cut processer and shipper of yellow, red, white and sweet onions, responsible for more than 450 million pounds of onions each year. The company’s state-of-the-art growing and storage techniques ensure a year-round supply of whole, peeled and sliced onions to various foodservice, industrial ingredient and retail customers. And having the highest-quality product... Read more
General Produce finds success in partnerships with grower-shippers
General Produce LLC, a Castellini Co.-owned distributor doing business on the grounds of the Atlanta State Farmers Market in Forest Park, GA, occupies four large warehouses and services retail, foodservice and wholesale customers throughout 11 Southeastern states. “Our customers are located in the Southeast from Louisiana to Tennessee to the Carolinas and Florida,” said Mark Daniels, director of business development for General Produce. “Atlanta is just about... Read more
Nickey Gregory Co. touts new processing division
With 2018 coming to a close, those at the Atlanta-based Nickey Gregory Co. are looking back on the year with fond memories and a sense of achievement. “About six months ago, we started our own processing division called Family Fresh Foods and we bought a lot of state-of-the-art equipment to start chopping and slicing and dicing a lot of items we used to buy second-hand,” said Andrew Scott, director of business development for the company. “We’re processing our... Read more
Delta Fresh big in veg and warehousing
NOGALES, AZ — Delta Fresh is a major distributor and marketer of fresh produce, with a grower base spanning Mexico. Atanasio Panousopoulos stands outside the firm’s Nogales warehouse which is to officially open late this November. The firm will distribute 12 million cases of tomatoes this winter, according to Atanasio Panousopoulos, a third-generation operator of the firm. Delta Fresh also handles cucumbers, Bell and spicy peppers, eggplant and various squashes. But,... Read more
The Sykes Co. launches organic squash program
The Sykes Co., based in Rio Rico, AZ, recently announced that it is unveiling the Palo Alto Organics brand for hard squash in partnership with its growers in Mexico. Lesley SykesThe company will roll out the new organic offerings, consisting of butternut and spaghetti squash, over the next week. “Our organic squash will be available in all standard sizes and the quality is looking really good. We are proud to have diversified into this category that strongly resonates... Read more
Peppers Plus moving forward
rio rico, az — Enjoying “conservative growth,” Peppers Plus LLC is moving ahead this season with green, red, yellow and orange blocky Bell peppers remaining the firm’s core item. Bobby Astengo, managing director, said the firm has moved from marketing 100 acres of mesh-house Bells a year ago to 112 acres this season. Astengo is also offering hard shell squash to his customers. Peppers Plus LLC is moving ahead this season with green, red, yellow and orange blocky... Read more
By keeping themselves involved in all aspects of the production chain, Prime Time International, headquartered in Coachella, CA, is able to provide premium quality peppers 365 days a year. Eric Meyer, head of sales at the company’s Nogales, AZ-based office, said in addition to the year-round supply of all the different color peppers, the green house peppers run from mid-October to early May. “It’s an important area that helps us bridge Mexico crossing into Nogales.... Read more
Warehouse move enables IPR growth
NOGALES, AZ — On Nov. 1 last year, IPR Fresh bought and moved into a modern Nogales warehouse venue to have the space to expand the business. That plan is running like clockwork. “We have increased our production this year,” said Jose Luis Obregon, the company president. “Our growth is in a new deal, receiving yellow and Italian squash.” Jose Luis Obregon stands with the Organic Republic label organic Bell peppers shipped by his firm, IPR Fresh. Obregon said... Read more
GreenPoint growing with  20th anniversary at hand
rio rico, az — As it prepares for the firm’s 20th anniversary in 2019, the future looks bright for GreenPoint Distributing LLC. “This year we have programmed a lot of increases in the majority of the items that we sell,” said Omar Losolla, who is GreenPoint’s vice president of sales and marketing. “Our growth has been exponential over the last four years. A lot of that is new, top growers. And a lot is new, top retail customers, as well.” Losolla firmly added:... Read more
Duda Farm Fresh Foods to bring an outstanding corn crop to market
With more than 90 years of growing experience and six generations of legacy-building in an extensive line of produce, including value added products, Oviedo, FL-based Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc. is in place to bring an outstanding crop of sweet corn to market this season. On Nov. 15, Bert Barnes, account manager working out of the company’s Wellington, FL office, said sweet corn was being harvested out of Belle Glade, FL. “Harvesting conditions are great,” said... Read more
R.C. Hatton increases cabbage production
R.C. Hatton Inc. prides itself on offering high-quality green beans, sweet corn and cabbage from farm-to-table. The Pahokee, FL-based company currently grows about 8,000 acres and its production continues to increase year after year. “We have a lot of young, talented employees who are growing in our company and we are excited about the future,” said Jonathan Allen, R.C. Hatton’s farm manager for cabbage and organics. “We are trying to be more efficient than we... Read more
Green skin avocados are the pick of the crop at WP Produce
WP Produce is turning the tropical fruit industry avocado green with envy. Pioneers in the Dominican green skin avocado market, Miami-based WP Produce Corp. began sourcing green skin avocados from the Dominican Republic in 1992 after the Florida crop of green skin avocados was wiped out by hurricanes. Because of the high quality of the fruit and strong partnerships with growers in the Dominican Republic, WP Produce continues to be the largest importer and distributor... Read more
Paradise Produce keeps on  truckin’ to success
For 29 years, Paradise Produce Distributors has been a year-round distributor of fruits and vegetables and have practically perfected the practice of filling customers’ produce, transportation, marketing and promotional needs. “Every year is different in the produce business and this was another one that fell into the prevailing pattern; we had some very good things happen and some very, very strange things happen,” said Joel Silverman, president of the Lakeland,... Read more
Addition of Texas distribution creates opportunities for SunFed
rio rico, az — “There are a ton of opportunities” for SunFed, with the firm adding a distribution presence in south Texas, complementing Nogales operations, said Craig Slate, the firm’s president and chief executive officer. The warehouse facility in Weslaco, TX, has particularly given SunFed opportunities with Mexican onions and avocados. In the Rio Rico conference room of SunFed are the firm’s top executives Craig Slate and Matt Mandel.Slate joined SunFed almost... Read more
Coast Produce revitalizes  its Nogales operation
NOGALES, AZ — Coast Produce Co., Inc., based in Los Angeles, has had a Nogales presence for decades. Owned by the Dunn family in California, Coast Produce is 64 years old. Jerry Wagner, general manager of the Coast Nogales operation, said John Dunn told Wagner 18 months ago that Coast in Nogales needed to be more deeply invested in the warehousing business; parallel to the firm’s direction in southern California. Wagner then began working with Nogales’ Panousopoulos... Read more
Gourmet Trading filling demand for larger blueberry packs
Once the domain of club stores, larger retail packs of blueberries are finding favor in many different outlets, which has resulted in an increase in that pack size from Los Angeles-based Gourmet Trading. “We are offering more and more bigger packs, such as 18-ounce clamshells,” said Luciano Fiszman, blueberry category manager for the firm. “It used to be a format that only club stores were carrying, now most stores are looking into this pack.” Retailers should... Read more