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COMPANY PROFILES

Ripe and bagged fruit driving Calavo’s avocado sales
Over the past decade, Calavo Growers Inc. in Santa Paula, CA, has continually added ripening rooms around the country and beefed up its bagging capabilities at each of its packing facilities. These twin efforts have enabled the company to increase its sales of pre-conditioned fruit as well as value-oriented bagged avocados. Both of those retail offerings are on-trend in the avocado business. Rob Wedin, vice president of fresh sales and marketing for the company,... Read more
Australia’s Pinnacle Fresh presents ‘Wickedly’ healthy citrus
Pinnacle Fresh, based in Melbourne, Australia, has been invested in the citrus space for the past 10 years. “We started aggregating for domestic supply to Australian retail firstly and then moved into export markets approximately five years ago with a focus on retail in the United States,” said Jordan Bain, co-founder and sales director of Pinnacle Fresh. “Our intended focus on the U.S. market is to grow sustainably with volume increases of 8 to 15 percent year... Read more
Fourth Generation of Johnston Farms leading citrus efforts
With more than 70 years of experience as a grower in the San Joaquin Valley, near the base of the Tehachapi mountains, Johnston Farms has seen four generations lead the company to success. Its California citrus program has been a big reason for lasting so long, as each November through March it deals with citrus such as navel oranges and mandarins. “The citrus season is our longest and represents somewhere between 75-80 percent of our business,” said Jaclyn Johnston... Read more
ProMach, a worldwide leader in packaging machinery solutions, announced today that it has acquired Jet Label & Packaging, western Canada’s largest producer of labels for a variety of industries. The addition of Jet Label expands ProMach’s labeling and coding capabilities and provides customers across Canada with enhanced sales and support to keep their packaging operations running at peak efficiency. Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Edmonton, AB, Jet Label... Read more
Val Verde expanding warehouse to match business growth
McALLEN, TX— Part of a cold warehouse built by one-time Texas onion giant Griffin & Brand is being revitalized by Val Verde Vegetable Co. Inc. Frank Schuster, the company president who operates Val Verde with his sons Kurt and Max, has long-occupied part of the 170,000-square-foot building. This year Val Verde jumped at the chance to move deeper into the building to help the firm increase its volume and traffic flow within the receiving-packing-shipping operation. Max,... Read more
GR Fresh building supplies
McALLEN, TX— New customer relationships are driving the growth of GR Fresh. To accommodate that expansion, the firm this fall is breaking ground for a new 120,000-square-foot cold warehouse. The project is far behind schedule because of civic bureaucracy, but Tony Incaviglia, vice president sales and marketing, hopes to be in the facility in a year. The warehouse will be near the current location within the McAllen Produce Market. Tony IncavigliaWith growing sales... Read more
Lone Star flourishing  in fresh citrus business
MISSION, TX— As the Texas citrus industry has consolidated, Lone Star Citrus Growers has continued to thrive, according to TJ Flowers, vice president of operations and sales. There are about 30,000 acres of commercial citrus production in south Texas. “Although our competition operates on a larger scale, we at Lone Star Citrus are not only a viable option, but we are a bit smaller and offer a hands-on approach. We have a high level of customer service and the ability... Read more
Agtools, a data analytic service for the produce industry, has entered an agreement as preferred content provider with Blue Book Services, the leading credit rating and business information company for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry. Through this agreement Agtools, with market data coverage of over 500 specialty crops, will be used by Blue Book to deliver accurate, timely market data to its thousands of members and readers.  Improving profitability... Read more
Rio Fresh applying new ideas
SAN JUAN, TX— South Texas vegetable grower-packer-shipper Rio Fresh Inc. is taking seriously the adage that for every hour some freshly harvested vegetables are not precooled, a day of shelf life is lost. As a result, the established firm, which operates along the southern reaches of the Rio Grande River, is doubling its hydrocooling capacity and increasing cold room storage by 20 percent this fall. Rio Fresh is also expanding its onion shed. The existing packingline... Read more
Exp Group says it’s important to exhibit at the New York Produce Show
It is imperative for produce professionals who specialize in tropical and Latin items to maintain a presence at major events like the New York Produce Show. Anthony Serafino, vice president of Exp Group in North Bergen, NJ, says its equally important to stay abreast about where items are produced, the seasonal movements and the quality of the items. The company does both and more. As a leading grower, importer and shipper, the company stays tuned in to its customers’... Read more
J&D Produce targets customer needs
At planting season, growers tend to be optimistic, noted Jimmy Bassetti, the president of J&D Produce, located in Edinburg, TX. But, he said, the days for boundless optimism have been confined to marketing realities. “Growers in this day and age need to grow what their customers need. The costs are way too high compared to years ago, when you could afford to speculate.” The costs of seed, fertilizer, labor, machinery and food-safety programs have “gone through... Read more
D’Arrigo Bros. says New York Produce Show gets bigger and better every year
Headquartered on the Hunts Point Terminal Market in the Bronx, NY, D’Arrigo Bros Co-New York Inc. is a solid fixture in the fresh produce industry in the Northeast and far beyond. Company representatives have attended every New York Produce Show since its inception, and has exhibited every year for the past decade. This year it will exhibit at Booth No. 343 on the showroom floor, which will be held on Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Javits Center Hall C in New York City. D’Arrigo... Read more
Christopher Ranch to feature full garlic  and specialty items at New York Produce Show
Gilroy, CA-based Christopher Ranch LLC, has been a strong advocate of the New York Produce Show since its inception. Anthony M. DeAngelis, director of the northeast division, said at this year’s tradeshow, being held on Thursday, Dec. 12 at the Javits Center Hall 1C in New York City, the company will proudly exhibit at Booth No. 236. Tim Ahlin “This show continues to be one of our most valuable regional trade shows — from the attendance of current and prospective... Read more
Setton showcasing seasoned pistachio  kernel varieties at NY Produce Show
Behind Booth No. 239 at the New York Produce Show, Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella will be showcasing its line of new Seasoned Pistachio Kernels, which are available in five varieties: Salt & Pepper, Garlic Onion, Chili Limon, Jalapeno and Chipotle BBQ. “Our Garlic Onion variety recently won first place for the Buyers Choice New Product Award at the California Food Expo,” said Joseph Setton, vice president of domestic sales for Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella.... Read more
New York Apple Sales continues strong promotion  of Yes! Apple branding at the New York Produce Show
New York Apple Sales, headquartered in Glenmont, NY, is off to a dynamite start with its new Yes! Apples consumer brand program Jim Allen, vice president of marketing, said following a highly successful PMA Fresh Summit with the new brand, the company’s team will continue to introduce it at Booth No. 527 on the showroom floor at New York Produce Show on Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Javits Center Hall 1C in New York City. “New York Apple Sales is a long-time exhibitor... Read more
Rice Fruit to feature new  clear tote bag at the NYPS
Always innovating in new and exciting ways, Rice Fruit Co, headquartered in Gardners, PA, will feature its new clear tote bag at the New York Produce Show tradeshow floor on Thursday, Dec. 12 at the Javits Center Hall 1C in New York City. “Our team will be at Booth No. 434 at the show,” said Brenda Briggs, vice president of sales and marketing for the 100-plus year established apple grower. “The new tote bag was designed to let the fruit advertise itself while... Read more
EagleXport expanding markets and embracing customers
Eagle Export Inc. is a small company located in the heart of the agricultural belt south of Montreal and because it has access to both suppliers and major highways, it can deliver produce to customers which may be harvested that same morning. “EagleXport has grown to become a one-stop shop for all things produce,” said Alex Zenebisis, president of the Saint-Rémi, Quebec-based company. “We literally have everything that can be grown in Quebec and Ontario: Fiddleheads... Read more
Baldor Specialty Foods to sample new selection of Urban Roots Veggie Side Kits at New York Produce Show
Baldor Specialty Foods, headquartered in the Bronx, NY, has supported the New York Produce Show since its inception ten years ago. President Michael Muzyk said that the show gets bigger and better every year. “We find this show a terrific venue to show off our latest innovations and specialty food items, the wide range of services we provide and some of the exciting new things we are working on,” said Muzyk. Numerous new things are always in the works at Baldor,... Read more
 Food safety is paramount at Kurt Zuhlke & Associates
Kurt Zuhlke & Associates has been the produce plastic packaging experts since the company was founded in 1955. The firm specializes in clamshell packaging that protects tender produce items, extending their shelf life and drastically reducing the spread of germs and pathogens. The company’s plastic clamshells offer superior protection for a host of produce items, including salad greens. “The rigid plastic that our clamshells are made out of protects the leaves... Read more
SunDate meets double digit increase in date consumption
With no rain to speak of, the California date industry is close to wrapping up what can only be described as a near-perfect growing season. Industry leaders are confident in the quality and storability of this season’s crop. “Rain before harvest can cause quality issues, dates just don’t respond well to moisture so it’s been nice to get through the season without rain and we’re confident that we’ll have exceptional quality this year,” said DJ Ryan, sales and operations... Read more