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COMPANY PROFILES

This year’s garlic crop looks promising at Christopher Ranch
Garlic harvest was just getting underway in mid-July at Christopher Ranch, headquartered in Gilroy, CA. Patsy Ross, marketing director for the garlic and specialty products’ firm said the company was looking forward to a good harvest. “Yields are expected to be normal vs. last year’s crop, which was down about 15 percent,” said Ross. “The demand for garlic in the market for the past couple of years has been strong and the supply has been down a little. So... Read more
Sunview has increases in proprietary Stella Bella and Gem grape varieties
Sunview Marketing International in Delano, CA, exclusive marketing agent for Sunview Vineyards of California, will have volume increases in two proprietary grape varieties this season — one a red seedless called Gem and the other a green seedless called Stella Bella. Both varieties have been in the development process for some time. Stella Bella debuted commercially last year after being selected out of the company’s in-house breeding program about six years earlier.... Read more
Simonian Fruit offers specialty Champaign grapes from July into September
Simonian Fruit Co. in Fowler, CA, which grows, packs and ships an assortment of California tree fruit and grapes, will start off the grape season with some specialty grapes, according to Jeff Simonian, vice president of sales. “We will have the red Champagne grapes” beginning the week following the Fourth of July, Simonian told The Produce News. Those will be followed a week later with some green Champagne grapes. “That is the front part of our grape deal.” Simonian... Read more
Jasmine’s summer and fall grape  programs span wide range of varieties
From early season Flames to late season Autumn Kings, Jasmine Vineyards Inc. in Delano, CA, offers a broad assortment of fresh grape varieties, grown in the Delano district. “Thus far, we just started with Flames. It’s the only variety I am currently doing,” said salesman Brian Crettol in an interview with The Produce News July 9. “We are going to start some Princess and some Summer Royals here probably toward the end of this week.” Jasmine started harvesting... Read more
Mastronardi Produce helps children by leading through example
Children and parents continue to benefit from the high level of commitment Mastronardi Produce Ltd. embraces when it comes to healthful eating and lifestyles. “As a family company, we believe in the importance of healthy lifestyles and leading by example,” Paul Mastronardi, the company’s president and chief executive officer, told The Produce News. “Our goal is to share our passion for flavor with families everywhere and to encourage healthy living through the consumption... Read more
Oneonta makes it easy for children to eat and play the healthy way
Dan Wohlford, national marketing representative for Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers, said the company is making it easy for busy parents to incorporate healthy snacks into meal planning for children. “In general, we have become a nation of snackers,” he told The Produce News. “We grab something quick to eat as we are rushing from this activity to that. And parents want something that’s healthy and that kids will eat.” The company is located in Wenatchee, WA, and has... Read more
Gold Coast is big on product customization for foodservice trade
In addition to its standard foodservice packs, Gold Coast Packing Inc. in Santa Maria, CA, does “a tremendous amount of customization for the foodservice trade,” according to Brent Scattini, vice president of sales. “We are packing things specifically for restaurant needs and coming up with different pack sizes, different specs and different formulations” that may be needed by a national restaurant chain or a regional processor, wholesaler or distributor, he said.... Read more
Bland Farms sweet potatoes join Vidalia Brands lineup  along with new value-added sweet onion products
Delbert Bland is an onions and potatoes kind of guy; wife and business partner Sandra Bland is the dreamer of the two, thinking of new ways to put what her husband grows and markets to use. And while Bland Farms LLC of Glennville, GA, has become a famous name in the onion world, its subsidiary Vidalia Brands is shaking things up on the value-added and processed side, with a lineup including condiments, dressings, dips, toppings, frozen items, potato chips and snack... Read more
Giorgio to showcase foodservice pack of stuffed Baby Bellas at PMA Fresh Summit
“We will be featuring our entire line of fresh mushrooms at the PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo in Monterey, CA, on July 25-27,” said Bill Litvin, senior vice president of sales for Giorgio Fresh, headquartered in Blandon, PA. “Greg Sagan Sr., vice president of sales, will be joining me at Booth No. 18 to meet and greet customers and prospective customers.” Litvin said the company will be showcasing Giorgio Fresh’s foodservice pack of stuffed Baby Bella mushrooms... Read more
Jim DiMenna, president of Red Sun Farms, formerly JemD Farms, headquartered in Kingsville, Ontario, will be exhibiting at the PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo in Monterey, CA, on July 25-27 at Booth No. 1. Jim Cathey, sales and sourcing manager for the company, will be attending to represent the company. “We’ll be featuring our specialty produce in a foodservice-friendly format along with menu development assistance,” said DiMenna. “We’ll also be discussing... Read more
Movement steady in Aspen’s 12-month potato program
CENTER, CO — “We’re taking care of our customers’ needs,” co-owner and sales agent Dwayne Weyers said recently of Aspen Produce’s year-round potato program. Weyers said the operation provides all consumer packs as well as Kwik Lok closures that have trace-back information printed directly on the Loks. The closures also feature a food-safety precaution note to wash and cook the potatoes, which are Colorado’s highest-acreage vegetable crop, thoroughly before consuming. He... Read more
Stevco Inc., which is headquartered in Los Angeles and has branch offices in Nogales, AZ, and in Coachella and Bakersfield, CA, continues to have an increase in producing acreage across most grape varieties throughout the season, but as with the industry as a whole, “most of our growth as a company has been in the late varieties,” said Jared Lane, vice president of sales and marketing, in an interview with The Produce News. This year’s volume growth in some varieties... Read more
The changes in variety mix at Eagle Eye Grape Guys LLC in Visalia, CA, a subsidiary of Eagle Eye Produce Co. in Idaho Falls, ID, is really more of an evolution than a revolution, according to Shaun Ricks, vice president of the company. For the 2014 season out of the San Joaquin Valley, “we’ve got more acreage coming on line of new varieties,” he said July 8. But that has been the case for several successive seasons. “Every year we get more and more.” Among other... Read more
Vincent B. Zaninovich & Sons in Richgrove, CA, which had its first commercial crop last year of a licensed proprietary green seedless grape variety called Sweet Sunshine, will have increased production of the variety this year, according to John Zaninovich, president of the company. “We will start shipping” that variety “the week of the 21st of July, and our volume has increased from last year,” Zaninovich told The Produce News. “The quality is even better... Read more
The Chuck Olsen Co. in Visalia, CA, expects production increases in two newer red seedless grape varieties for the 2014 season, as young plantings come into fuller production, according to Jeff Olsen, vice president of the company. Sweet Scarlets will increase about 25 percent for the company, he said July 8. “This is their fourth leaf. We actually had them last year, but bunch size was so small we basically snack-packed all of them.” The company will also enjoy... Read more
Bari Produce LLC in Madera, CA, expects to harvest and pack around 1.25 million boxes of fresh grapes this year, according to Justin Bedwell, managing partner. “That is up a little bit from last year,” but it is due to production increases in existing acreage, not to new acreage, he said. The biggest production increases for the company will be in the Scarlet Royal and Autumn King varieties, he added. Bari Produce began its 2014 grape harvest around July 8 with... Read more
Fruit Royale Inc. in Delano, CA, has increases in several grape varieties for the latter part of the season, according to Louie Galvan, a partner in the company. “Our biggest increases are going to be in Scarlet Royal and Autumn King,” he said July 7. Autumn King, a late season green seedless variety that for Fruit Royale follows the mid-season Princess variety, has seen a great deal of growth industry-wide in the last year or so. “It has really done well for us,”... Read more
“Everybody is saying it is going to be a good quality year,” said Clint Lucas, an inspector at RJO Produce Marketing Inc. in Fresno, CA, in interview with The Produce News, with regard to the 2014 California grape season. But there has been some variation in yields early in the season, with generally early start dates followed by lower volumes in the early harvest than expected and considerable variance in grape size. On the Flame crop, for example, “it seems... Read more
Increased emphasis on fingerlings,  specialty onions at Strohauer Farms
LASALLE, CO — Growing demand for specialty items has prompted northern Colorado grower-shipper Harry Strohauer to ramp up emphasis on his fingerling potato crop and specialty onion packaging this season. Strohauer said the fingerlings, as well as russets and Yukons, are being offered both as conventional and organic. “Our potato category includes conventional and organic russets, Yukons, Banana Fingerlings, Rose Finn/Ruby Crescent Fingerlings, French Fingerlings... Read more
Western Fumigation is actively involved in a number of approaches to enhance the business climate for the ports of the Delaware River. Miriam Borja-Fisher, senior business development manager for the Parsippany, NJ-based firm, also serves on the board of — or is otherwise actively engaged in — several associations, including Ship Philly First, the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia and the World Trade Association of Greater Philadelphia.... Read more