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COMPANY PROFILES

Applewood focused on apple varieties
Applewood Fresh Growers LLC is distinguishing itself with planning for the “next best managed varieties,” according to Nick Mascari, Applewood’s president. The Michigan grower-packer-shipper is testing apple varieties in the ground as part of the work toward serving the trade with the best of oncoming special new apple varieties. “We are really looking at making a statement with managed varieties and higher-end apples.” Mascari said that, for competitive reasons,... Read more
Superior keeps its apple business simple
“For us it’s simple” in the Michigan apple business. “We focus on and stress having a quality pack,” said Tyler Hodges, a salesman for the firm. The customers of Superior Sales, Inc. receive “round-the-clock service,” he added. Tyler Hodges in the Hudsonville, MI, warehouse of Superior Sales Inc.In early September, Superior Sales, which is based in Hudsonville, MI, will begin shipping Gala and McIntosh, as well as a premiere early HoneyCrisp variety. The firm... Read more
Proprietary grape varieties, organic fruit highlight Sunview’s fall lineup
With several proprietary grape varieties, along with good supplies of organic grapes, persimmons, and pomegranates, Delano, CA-based Sunview Marketing International is well positioned from late summer through the fall. Mitch Wetzel, vice president of sales, recently laid out the company’s offerings in that time period, listing its new Sweet Carnival proprietary grape as its main headliner. “This is our newest proprietary variety,” he said. “It tastes like a famous... Read more
Pacific AgPak, based in Watsonville, CA, handles the packaging needs for agricultural growers, manufacturers, and producers in California, the Pacific Northwest, Canada, and Mexico, and packaging and custom-labeling needs for distributors, large-scale farmers and retailers. When it comes to grapes, the company offers both a 2- and 4-pound grape clamshell, a clear packaging solution that Pacific AgPak touts as perfect for “showing off plump and juicy grapes.” These... Read more
Beautiful SweeTango crop on the way
Look for SweeTango to land a “perfect 10” on its scorecard in the produce case this fall, with a bountiful crop of the early season sweet and crunchy apple expected. “The 2019 SweeTango crop is looking beautiful with plentiful apples on the way,” said Jennifer L. Parkhill, executive director of Next Big Thing, a cooperative of committed apple growers selected to cultivate SweeTango. “We could see some slight russeting due to the weather, but right now harvest looks... Read more
G&R gearing up for Peruvian onion season
Peruvian sweet onions are an important crop for G&R Farms as the sweet onions it plants, grows and harvests in Peru provide the company with a year-long program to supply its retailer partners. The program, which started 15 years ago, benefits building the brand with consumers, which in turn builds loyalty and sales.    “We developed our Peru program to enable us to provide a 12-month, high-quality sweet onion program for our customers day in and... Read more
Well-Pict puts flavor first
In the midst of the 50-year anniversary of the founding of its company, Watsonville, CA-based Well-Pict Berries continues doing what has made it such a success with strawberries and the berry category — putting flavor first. Jim Grabowski, vice president of marketing for Well-Pict Berries, noted the company’s berries are grown to be large, with a beautiful shine and aroma that is irresistible, but while the great looks sell the berries, the taste keeps the consumer... Read more
Main Street Produce getting input from young team members
Main Street Produce, located in the fertile Santa Maria Valley of California, has been working with strawberries for more than 40 years, and the fall berry season is an important one for the company. “Strawberries are the bread and butter of what we do,” said Paul Allen, president and sales director of the company. “It represents approximately 75 percent of the company’s efforts and expenses.” The company farms its own product through its sister company, Freshway... Read more
Calavo remains a leader in avocados
Calavo Growers has been in the avocado business for nearly a century, but it’s far from an old-fashioned company. In fact, it’s always looking for new ways to become more modern and improve on its already excellent reputation. “We have worked really hard on establishing a sustainability council,” said Rob Wedin, vice president of sales for the Santa Paula, CA-based company. “So we have people from all our business units and all our facilities and operations on... Read more
Potandon sees strong growth in yellow and mini potatoes
Potandon Produce LLC in Idaho Falls, ID, one of the largest potato and onion shippers in the United States and the exclusive marketer of the Green Giant brand for fresh potatoes and onions, is seeing significant growth in yellow potatoes and mini-potatoes, according to Carter Bray, vice president/general manager, variety potato division. Growth in the red potato category, whether it be red-reds (potatoes with red skins and white flesh) or red-yellows, “tends to... Read more
Wada Farms potatoes and onions to start a week to 10 days later than last year
Weather factors around spring planting time have caused a delay in the start of the 2019 harvest for potatoes in eastern Idaho, according to Kevin Stanger, president of Wada Farms Marketing Group in Idaho Falls, ID. “I’m hearing that is fairly prevalent” among potato shippers in Idaho, Stanger told The Produce News July 16. “I’m not saying everybody, but a lot of shippers out here.” Stanger said he expects Wada Farms to begin shipping new crop potatoes from some... Read more
Though early estimates project a 9 percent decrease, the Northwest pear crop is shaping up to yield excellent quality and has enjoyed ideal growing conditions over the past several months. “We expect overall volume to be down a bit from last year, but pears will still be a great item to promote,” reported Mike Preacher, director of marketing & customer relations with Superfresh Growers.  “Fruit is large and very clean, and will deliver great flavor.” The... Read more
Brooks Tropicals offers SlimCados year-round
When it comes to avocados, it is “SlimCado” pickings over at Brooks Tropicals. That is because the Homestead, FL-based grower specializes in the SlimCado, a unique avocado variety naturally lower in fat and calories, with a vibrant light green color and lighter taste that is both creamy and buttery — and makes a delicious guacamole. Brooks Tropicals grows its SlimCados in Florida and the Dominican Republic.“We’re proud to say SlimCado season is now year-round,”... Read more
Canadawide excited about QPMA opportunities
When summer comes around, those at Montreal-based produce wholesaler Canadawide always look forward to attending the annual Quebec Produce Marketing Association, and co-owner George Pitsikoulis takes an eager team with him every year. “The convention is first rate in terms of organizing an enjoyable and interesting networking environment for our industry,” he said. “Of course, most attendees are based locally representing a cross section of our industry. We are... Read more
DASERCO ripening rooms meet every avocado ripening need
Handling avocados can be a tricky business, but an investment in an avocado ripening room from Dade Service Corp. could help retailers and wholesalers reduce shrink and maximize sales and profits. A DASERCO brand patented pressurized ripening system delivers high air flows and precise pulp temperature control to ensure uniformity of ripened product with guaranteed results. Each DASERCO ripening room is tailored to meet each client’s customized ripening needs, and... Read more
Ecolab receives Visionary Award at Chilean American Chamber event
WILMINGTON, DE — Ecolab Specialty Pest Services received the 2019 Visionary Award at the 14th Annual Experience the Taste of Chile Wine Tasting and Dinner in Wilmington. The Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia hosted the event on May 7.Ecolab was strongly represented by its leadership in May when the company received the Visionary Award at a dinner meeting of Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia. Eric Casey,... Read more
GT USA Wilmington invests in massive port expansion
WILMINGTON, DE — Phenomenal changes are taking place at the Port of Wilmington. Since 1995, The Port of Wilmington was owned and operated by the state’s Diamond State Port Corporation. While this port has been very successful — ranking among other notables as North America’s top banana port — the facility needed millions of dollars of cash infusion to reach its full potential. For a small state that’s home to fewer than one million people, that’s a stiff bill. After... Read more
Pipsie Nature Detective finds fame for fumigation marketing pro
WILMINGTON, DE — Rick DeDonato loves kids. He loves writing stories. He knows a lot about bugs because he works for a large company that exterminates bugs. All those factors brought DeDonato to write a book series, which is collectively called Pipsie Nature Detective. Pipsie investigates insects through looking for clues and, of course, draws together observations and in the process, learning about the tiny beings. Pipsie books have been translated into three... Read more
Western Fumigation a key player in AQI task force
PHILADELPHIA — For more than 40 years, Lester, PA-based Western Fumigation has been actively involved in enhancing the business climate for the ports of the Delaware River. Currently some of Western’s key work involves dialogue with USDA-APHIS, according to Kurt Reichert, fumigation director.Attending a WorldCity conference in Philadelphia on June 11, were Western Fumigation representatives Miriam Borja-Fisher and Bob Verrico, who flank Linda Gillis, vice president... Read more
Penn Terminals booming with container trade
EDDYSTONE, PA — Penn Terminals Inc. is in a transition, moving toward more container business, according to John Brennan, the firm’s president and chief executive officer. This re-emphasis began a couple of years ago because containers are “better business for us,” Brennan said. The port for years has been a multi-purpose terminal. This included handling steel, “which is slow moving and a land hog.” Rebar still can sit in a terminal facility and take space for... Read more