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COMPANY PROFILES

Actions speak very loudly in describing Agromod’s quality control
tapachula, chiapas, mexico — Armed with a sharp knife, a tiny woman patiently crouched, stalking each heavily-laden papaya plant like a hungry, prowling, young lioness. She slowing circled to study all options in choosing from the lowest Maradols, which are the first to ripen among the bulbous clusters. All of the fruit was green. But she carefully sought the fruit that was beginning a color break that would perfectly suit the long trail from Mexico’s... Read more
Love and Health hustling in Puebla
palmar de bravo, puebla, mexico — Little surrounding Guillermo (Memo)Nieto is traditional. The name of his company is G Love. But he works with his brand name, Love and Health, to adorn company jackets, shirts and signage. An ebullient Buddha sits amid the company logo. “I’m a free spirit and serious. It’s a weird combination. Normally free spirits don’t go through with what they say,” noted Nieto, who comes from one of the... Read more
AMHPAC: ‘Maybe it’s time to change our name’
 culican, sinaloa, mexico — Given the association’s increasingly diverse interests in advancing Mexico’s horticultural production and exports, “maybe it’s time to change our name,” said Alfredo Diaz. AMHPAC is Mexico’s only agricultural association with a national reach, according to Diaz. AMHPAC is an acronym that roughly translates as the Mexican Association of Protected Horticulture. Of course serving the protected... Read more
LatinoTrading growing quickly in Mexico
Sergio Paz’ long road to today began in Cuba. His career rooted there in 1986 as he became involved in international produce trade. From Cuba he became involved with trade in Mexico and in 2005 he moved to Mexico, from where he exported to Europe and the Caribbean and imported onions from Chile. The owner of LatinoTrading LLC began exporting to the United States in 2008 and in 2011 he moved to Miami, where he would be surrounded by the familiar Cuban culture. “Our... Read more
Vision Import Group making its growers a priority
In keeping with its mantra, "Your direct link to the grower," Raul Millan, executive vice president of Vision Import Group, recently visited the company's Mr. Squeeze-branded lemon grower in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Vision imports from this area in Mexico from April to January each year. "In order to fill customers' needs year-round we have a highly successful Spanish lemon program that is available during Mexico's gap in production," Donald Souther, senior vice president... Read more
Profitable vegetable production is only part of Santa Amalia’s plan
comonfort, guanajauto, mexico — For most of us, an encounter with a dead mouse is not an experience that we choose to prolong. And, actually, Alvaro Nieto prefers to kill nothing. But in the interest of having a bio-diverse farm, he has trapped mice, then sliced open tiny stomachs to learn what he can about the animal’s habits. This example is a tiny slice of all Nieto has done to have his 300-acre vegetable farm produce safe food while adding to the... Read more
Nava Co. targeting Cancun-to-Europe flights to expand mango market
mexico city — In March and April, mango growers in Chiapas, Mexico’s extreme southern point, are squeezed in the North American market, due to oncoming seasonal volume from competing growers in Colima and Nayarit. Atop facing new volumes, growers endure a freight rate disadvantage -— at least for fruit headed for Texas. But, Chiapas mango grower-shipper Rafael Nava is eying Cancun. So many Europeans flock to the sand, sun and fun that there are... Read more
Stanley Orchards has been a leader in the apple and pear import and export business since 1931, and this year it made a move designed to help it continue to grow and thrive for years to come. In April, Stanley Orchards, based in Modena, NY, merged with William H. Kopke Jr., changing its name to Stanley Orchards Sales (from Stanley Orchards, Inc.) “Our merger with Kopke represented a tremendous opportunity for expansion, in growth of Stanley Orchards Sales,... Read more
Wish Farms campaign focuses on flavor
Florida’s strawberry season is off to a sweet start, according to Plant City, FL-based Wish Farms, grower, shipper and year-round supplier of strawberries. This season, Wish Farms is focusing on flavor and the consumer eating experience, expanding its acreage and offering delicious strawberry varieties. “This year’s patches of cooler weather during our planting windows conditioned the plants for more consistent blooms than we experienced last... Read more
CMI Orchards offers strong season for retailers
While fall is obviously a big time of year, winter is the prime part of Wenatchee, WA-based CMI Orchards’ selling and shipping season, as regional apples get a lot of attention from retailers at that time.  “When you shift into the winter months, it’s really the time where our apples take center stage and drive overall category dollars and volume,” said Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing for CMI Orchards. “There are several... Read more
The Perishable Specialist eagerly anticipating  shipments of blueberries and grapes from Chile
The Perishable Specialist, headquartered in Miami, has every detail in place and is ready and eager for the start of the blueberry and grape shipments from Chile. “In the next few weeks we are expecting our first container of blueberries and grapes from Chile which will mark the beginning of our season,” said Frank Ramos, company president. “Blueberries from Chile by ocean container will begin in November and will end either late March or the... Read more
King Fresh Produce sees rise in Chilean grapes
The role of King Fresh Produce, LLC in Chile is a little different than others, as the Dinuba, CA-based company owns and farms a vineyard in the Northern part of the country and has its own people working on the farm. “This year we’re early about 10 days, as we started packing right around November and we’ll receive our first grapes from Chile on Dec. 20,” said Keith Wilson, managing director of King Fresh Produce. “We’re not... Read more
Grant Stanton hoping for mild winter
With approximately 60 percent of its business in the foodservice industry, Grant Stanton Produce Co. Inc., located at the New England Produce Center in Chelsea, MA, is hoping for a mild winter. “When the weather is mild people are more motivated to eat out and enjoy other forms of entertainment outside of their homes,” said Shawn Grant, company owner. “Once we got through the dog days of summer business picked up nicely. We’ve had a nice... Read more
Kale going strong as item for Baker Family Farms
Baker Family Farms has long been a trusted exporter of Georgia Grown produce and its products are represented by a number of retailers on the Atlanta market, who support the company greatly, according to Tommy Collinsworth, sales and marketing director for the company. Tommy CollinsworthWith more than 40 years of experience behind the company — which started with Terry Baker planted a few acres of land near Norman Park, GA, in 1970 — his sons Joe and... Read more
New York Apple Association promoting state’s industry for over five decades
Apples were first planted in New York in 1647. New York apple growers have been collectively promoting their produce since the 1930s. While some form of an apple grower group began as early as 1935, New York State apple growers voted to create the first mandatory state Apple Marketing Order in 1959, forming the New York Apple Association. Under the AMO, a majority of New York State apple growers pay an assessment to promote New York state apples and... Read more
Champion seeing more colossals and supers this year
While Champion Produce Sales in Parma, ID, is shipping all colors and sizes of onions now, Dallas Jensen, grower/industry relations manager who joined the operation earlier this year, said the overall size profile is trending to colossals and super colossals. “This year’s size profile is much larger,” Jensen said during Thanksgiving week. “We are seeing more colossal and super colossal than we have in years past. Mediums are tight, and jumbos... Read more
For four generations operating throughout six decades, those who have been in charge of Bushwick Potato Commission have carried out the same mission — a commitment to its customers to provide the very best product. A big part of that commitment is working with local regional growers and shippers when it comes to potatoes and onions. “We strive, when available and appropriate, to work with local growers and shippers and that’s been a big focus... Read more
Red River Valley red  potatoes bring retailers feature opportunities
This winter, while there may be a price differential between abundant russet potatoes and a lower-volume red potato crop, a strong consumer demand remains for reds. And prices for the red potatoes are still at promotable levels, noted Ted Kreis, marketing director of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association. Kreis said he feels that “red potatoes are still a bargain at the current pricing.” This year’s national shortage of red potatoes... Read more
Sweet times continue  for Bland Farms
While Glennville, GA-based Bland Farms has been successful growing onions for nearly 30 years, Delbert Bland, president and owner of the company, is excited about the opportunities that adding sweet potatoes to the mix has brought. “Onions are our main forte, we do sweet onions 365 days a year from all different regions, but sweet potatoes have really come on in the last 4-5 years and is doing extremely well,” he told The Produce News. “For the... Read more
River Point relies solely on onions
River Point Farms harvests nearly 500 million pounds of red, yellow and sweet onions — the only crop the Hermiston, OR-based company grows. It’s why Carly Kwak-Bauch, vice president of sales for River Point Farms, noted its mission is to set the standard for growing, storing, packing and processing systems. “River Point Farms packs (standard mesh packs, cartons, and consumer packs) and processes (peel, quarter, slice and dice) fresh onions,”... Read more