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SunFed’s Texas operation rapidly expanding

pharr, tx — SunFed is entering its third season of operations in South Texas. The firm is based in Nogales, AZ, and operates a modern warehouse facility in Pharr, TX.

Craig Slate, who became the firm’s new president and chief executive officer on Aug. 31, met with The Produce News in the Pharr facility to discuss the operations.

Slate said currently 100 percent of SunFed’s produce is grown in Mexico.

The Texas business “is growing by leaps and bounds across the board,” Slate said.

Because of logistical advantages, the Texas warehouse is primarily shipping to customers in the Midwest and Northeast.

The high quality of Mexican product and SunFed’s post-harvest practices allows the company “to ship a long ways and end up with a product is fresh on the shelf,” Slate noted.

“We cross in Nogales and here,” he added.

The Nogales deal runs from September to June and the Texas business runs 12 months a year — including some products that may be shipped from Nogales.

“Each year it gets a little better,” Slate said. “We’ve added new growers from areas we didn’t have three years ago. We are year-round on squash, cukes, and, eggplant, and grape tomatoes. We expect to be year-round on Romas and watermelon by next year.”

Some of the new growing areas for SunFed are Chihuahua, Torreon, Durango and San Luis Potosi. Mostly this volume arrives between June and September.

“We have boots on the ground at the ranches to assure our standards are being applied,” Slate said.

“When it reaches our facilities in the states our QC team is the final set of eyes to confirm it meets SunFed’s Perfect Produce Promise, before shipping”

SunFed’s packing processes include effective precooling, a triple washing process to clean the fruit, micro-permeable bags to extend shelf life and, of course, maintains the cold chain throughout its shipping process.