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Demand for sweet potatoes keeps N.C. superstars Nash Produce busy
There’s no question 2015 was a busy year for Nash Produce of Nashville, NC. The continued increase in consumer demand for sweet potatoes led to a 20 percent increase in acreage and doubling the company’s storage facilities, and there’s no end in sight to the growth curve. Nash has a network of growers across North Carolina, ensuring ample volume and a guaranteed supply regardless of growing conditions or problems in any one area. The company has also seen a... Read more
Cal Giant continues to hone social media effort
If data is gold…and maybe it is…California Giant Berry Farms is rich indeed. The Watsonville, CA-based strawberry grower was one of the first fresh produce shippers to tout the importance of connecting with the consumer through social media. They have continued down that path for several years now, honing their offerings and learning more and more about the people who buy their products. “Through the various social media touchpoints (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram... Read more
Kurt Zuhlke & Associates staying on trend with earth-friendly packaging
When Kurt Zuhlke Jr. joined Kurt Zuhlke & Associates in Bangor, PA, he brought earth- friendly ideas to the company that his father, Kurt Zuhlke Sr., founded going on 60 years ago. As the produce industry began to change with the times, so did the company. Those changes included meeting the new needs of consumers, retailers, repackers and suppliers, and the development of Kurt Zuhlke, president of Kurt Zuhlke & Associates, with... Read more
Johnston Farms debuts BlueJay brand citrus carton as fruit continues to size up
Citrus fruits on Johnston Farms’ orchards in eastern Kern County, CA, were sizing up nicely by mid-January. Even as early as late December, the company was moving quality citrus to its global customer base. On Jan. 12, Derek Vaughn, sales representative for the Edison, CA-based company, told The Produce News that the region was getting better moisture. “That, combined with cooler nights, has really helped the fruit to size up,” said Vaughn. “And we now have... Read more
Citrus sizing well for Hronis
Hronis Inc., headquartered in Delano, CA, services all market sectors with a mix of premium winter citrus. “Our citrus season runs December through April,” said Pete Hronis, vice president of sales and marketing. “We grow and market Navels, Late Navels, Cara Caras, Bloods and Minneolas.” Barnfield is just one of the Hronis Inc. labels.The family-owned-and operated company has been farming premium table grapes in the southern San Joaquin Valley since 1945 and added... Read more
Sweet Life driven to market premium berries
Strawberry movement is ramping up at Sweet Life Farms LLC, headquartered in Plant City, FL. Mark McDonald, who is a part-owner and manager, said the company has grown and marketed berries and vegetables since the 1970s and has staked its reputation on delivering quality product to its customer to ensure repeat business. “We’ll be light on strawberry production for three weeks,” he told The Produce News in early January. Volume then picks up for the remainder of... Read more
Allen Lund Co. celebrating 40th anniversary in 2016
Allen Lund, short on money but long on talent and the work ethic, launched his company in 1976 with a modest goal of making ends meet. This month, the Allen Lund Co. Inc., headquartered in La Canada, CA, is celebrating its 40th anniversary with about three dozen offices affiliated with the firm and revenues of more than $450 million per year It’s a very familiar story in the fresh produce industry. “I’m living the American dream,” Lund told The Produce News in... Read more
Bova Fresh off to a sweet start
Although Bova Fresh officially opened its doors for business in mid-April of 2015, the company has a strong vision about what it takes to build grower relationships and service customers at the highest level. The company is headquartered in Boca Raton, FL, and is a grower-packer-shipper and broker, marketing a growing line of citrus, peaches, potatoes, onions, strawberries, watermelons and assorted vegetables. Owner Robert Wilhelm was asked what sets the company... Read more
‘The New Schmieding’ and Cañon Potato LLC combine expertise for spud industry
The 2015 acquisition of H.C. Schmieding Produce Co. in Springdale, AR, and Cañon Potato LLC in Center, CO, by Palm Beach, FL-based Woerner Holdings Inc. brought together two well-established potato-shipping facilities and now provides year-round supplies from those operations. Woerner Holdings, headed by father-son team Lester and Trent Woerner, created the umbrella “New Schmieding Produce,” and the upshot of the acquisition is increased availability of direct-from-growers... Read more
Business is good for R.A.M Produce, despite high markets
Although the weather this winter has certainly brought along some challenges for produce companies across the country, Michael Badalament, sales associate for R.A.M. Produce Distributors LLC, said business is still booming on the Detroit Produce Terminal Market. “We’ve been impacted with higher pricing and lack of availability, but we still bring in the product to better service our customers,” he told The Produce News on Jan. 11. “The market is what the market... Read more
CMI’s Daisy Girl organic brand a true chart topper
Columbia Marketing International continues to see strong movement of its organic apples and pears, which are marketed under its “Daisy Girl Organics” brand. “Daisy Girl Organics is now in its third year of being the number one selling branded organic program,” Marketing Specialist Katharine Grove told The Produce News. “Growth in organics continues to be the top growth opportunity for retailers. For the most recent 52 weeks, conventional sales slid -5.2 percent... Read more
Foxy notes continued growth in organic sector
The Nunes Co., based in Salinas CA, continues to see the organic part of its business grow significantly. The Foxy Organic brand saw significant increases in 2015 as the product line was expanded and more retail customers devoted extra space to organics in their produce departments. The firm recently added organic fennel to its lineup and its proprietary “BroccoLeaf” offering has been a big hit, especially on both coasts. Bunch Gold Beets from Foxy Organic.Matt... Read more
Bushmans’ on schedule for potato movement
The disappearance of Wisconsin potatoes from winter storage for Bushmans’ Inc. “is exactly where we budgeted it to be,” said Mike Carter, chief executive officer of the potato company based in Rosholt, WI. “We had great movement over the holidays,” he said. “We have an above-average size profile and above-average yields. We expect to finish strong sometime in July.” Mike CarterCarter said “the markets are exactly what we expected them to be, based on the (national)... Read more
‘Seed to Plate’ is a Spice World mantra
“Seed to plate” is a mantra that Spice World, a leading grower and distributor of garlic, ginger and a wide assortment of other herbs and spices, lays claim to, and it backs it up by providing full traceability. The Orlando, FL-based company, founded 67 years ago, became certified organic and began distributing its organic line over a decade ago. Since then, its organic line has grown continually. Spice World’s organic and conventional ‘Squeeze Garlic’ line up... Read more
Nickey Gregory Co., Gregory Family Express keep operations state-of-the-art
No one would trust their 2016 accounting needs to an abacus, no one would want food-safety standards from 2008 to govern what they’re doing today — so why would anyone settle for fresh or frozen deliveries from a fleet of outdated trucks? Nickey Gregory knows they wouldn’t and he has put his money where his mouth is to make sure all product delivered by the Nickey Gregory Co. or its transportation affiliate Gregory Family Express is conveyed by top-of-the-line... Read more
Orangeline's new website shows first-generation farmers' journey to Zing! Healthy Foods
Brothers Duffy and Jordan Kniaziew are first-generation farmers and local entrepreneurs who are transforming their family-owned business. What started as a small greenhouse in 1997 has since evolved into Zing! Healthy Foods, offering a range of specialty produce and positioning Orangeline Farms as a cutting-edge operation in the heart of Canada’s premier growing region.Jordan and Duffy Kniaziew. The launch of the new site,, is giving people... Read more
Ambrosia apples are nectar of the gods for Chelan Fresh Marketing. “We’re really excited about the good quality of Ambrosias coming out of Canada,” said Director of Marketing Mac Riggan. “It’s an exciting new apple. We are growing the category with Canadian volume. We are selling to retailers who haven’t had access to this apple before.” Chelan Fresh is the marketing arm for Chelan Fruit, a grower-member cooperative located in north central Washington. The cooperative... Read more
Current apple holdings at Fowler Bros. Inc., in Wolcott, NY, are excellent this season, according to Lee Peters, vice president of sales and marketing. And quality is assured through the use of proper controlled atmosphere storage protocols and the latest available technology. “Putting apples to sleep has been done for many years,” explained Peters. “Making sure they are resting comfortably is an art unto itself.  Continuous investment in storage technology... Read more
Hess Bros. thriving  with new generation among those at the helm
Currently, Hess Bros., in Leola, PA, is operated by second and third generation family members. The company reorganized in 2012 upon the retirement and ultimate death of Jerry Hess, brother of Fred Hess, second generation members. Today Fred Hess serves as company president. He is joined in overseeing the company’s operations by Jerry’s son, Ryan Hess; another nephew, Andy Figart; and Jerry’s son-in-law, Zack King. “This new generation joined me in ownership... Read more
“Prices are at levels where we all are able to make a living,” Don Armock said of the Michigan apple deal on Dec. 18. “We need years like this because you’ve got to offset the years, like last year, when you give back some.” A variety of factors made this a great shipping year for Riveridge Produce Marketing, Inc., which is owned by Armock. The 2015 crop, which enjoyed ideal weather, especially in the harvest season, brought a “varietal mix that was more conducive... Read more