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Longtime organic expert joins Viva Tierra Organic
Longtime organic expert Chris Ford has joined Viva Tierra Organic, a leading grower and marketer of organic apples and pears, in the role of business development and marketing manager as the company looks toward a strong season of South American fruit. Viva Tierra is among the largest suppliers of organic apples and pears from South America. Ford comes to Viva Tierra with more than 25 years of experience in organic produce, always a champion for organic integrity... Read more
Ocean Mist Farms hires Tom Botelho
Ocean Mist Farms has hired Tom Botelho as a sales representative. In this role, Botelho will work closely with Sales Manager Joe Angelo to build Ocean Mist Farms business in key territories. He comes to the company with a proven sales track record and industry relationships that will be key in his and Ocean Mist Farms’ success. “We are glad to have someone of Tom’s caliber join our team,” said Angelo. “His extensive knowledge of sales within the agriculture industry... Read more
Cristie Mather joins FLM Harvest as VP of food
FLM Harvest hired Cristie Mather as vice president of food. Mather brings more than 10 years of food industry experience to the 90-plus member FLM Harvest team, a strategic consulting, marketing and communications agency dedicated to the agriculture, food and rural lifestyle markets. Previously, Mather led food and beverage partnerships at The Fiction Tribe and held other strategic marketing communications roles including several years as communications director... Read more
 Industry veteran Mike Browne joins Mission Produce as COO
Mission Produce Inc. has hired industry executive leader Mike Browne as its chief operating officer, reporting to Steve Barnard, Mission Produce’s president and chief executive officer. “Mike is a respected industry veteran with over 35 years of success in worldwide procurement, operations and distribution of fresh avocados and a variety of produce. Mike embodies an operational excellence rigor and will help us achieve our vision of ongoing double-digit growth,”... Read more
Tom Nassif: A job well done
When Tom Nassif was hired by Western Growers Association in 2002 as president and chief executive officer, he had the perfect skill set for the job. Longtime board member Pete Pasquinelli of Pasquinelli Produce in Yuma, AZ, opined that Western Growers “got a twofer” referring to Nassif’s ability to handle the business side of running a large organization as well as the issues aspect of the position. Right off the bat, it was his business acumen that was sorely... Read more
Organics Unlimited expands organic produce team
Organics Unlimited, a San Diego-based grower and distributor of organic tropical fruit, recently added Jose Miguel Naranjo to the company as its logistics and operations assistant. The Tijuana native brings seven years of logistics and import-export experience to America’s largest family-owned organic banana brand. Naranjo will help with the important daily tasks of coordinating Tijuana-San Diego border crossings and warehouse coordination of product along with... Read more
Texas produce industry leaders inducted into Hall of Fame
Jimmy Santos of Santos International, Charles La Grange of J&D Produce, Aquiles J. Garza of Bebo Distributing, Kathy Reavis of Reavis Farms, Lawrence Kroman of I. Kunik and Jimmy Pawlik of Pawlik Farms. Nearly 260 produce industry professionals and family members attended the 2020 Texas International Produce Association’s Hall of Fame ceremony on Monday evening, Jan. 27, at the McAllen Country Club in McAllen, TX. Every seat and every table was filled to pay... Read more
Hamburg Süd chief to retire
Frank Smet, chief commercial officer of Hamburg Süd, will be going into retirement at the end of March after roughly 27 years with the company. Smet, who has been working in the shipping industry for over 40 years — including in Brazil, Chile, Australia and Hong Kong — has been a member of Hamburg Süd’s management board since 2012. He was initially responsible for network, operations and logistics before assuming responsibility for sales and customer service in... Read more
Michel Picandet named head of TOMRA Food
Michel Picandet has been appointed executive vice president and head of TOMRA Food. He joined the company Jan. 1 and will be based at the TOMRA Food headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. In his new role, he will be in charge of the company’s three brands: TOMRA Food, Compac and BBC Technologies. “I am delighted that Michel is joining our management team," said Stefan Ranstrand, president and chief executive officer of TOMRA. "He is a highly strategic, global business... Read more
South Carolina's Martin Eubanks has died
Martin L. Eubanks, who spent almost his entire career with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, died late Saturday evening Jan. 18, at Augusta University Medical Center in Augusta, GA. He was 59 years old and a resident of Lexington, SC. Mr. Eubanks died following a freak accident he had at home on Jan. 9, which resulted in a broken neck in part of the spinal region causing severe damage, according to information provided by his son, John Martin Eubanks. Mr.... Read more
Art Vega joins Sev-Rend as VP of business development
Sev-Rend has hired Art Vega as its new vice president of business development. Bringing Vega on lines up with Sev-Rend’s goals to further service its clients in key industries with high-performance packaging. This move allows Sev-Rend to expand its footprint even further in the consumer packaging world. “Art brings a wealth of knowledge to our team that will allow us to grow as a strategic partner with our new and existing clients,” said Greg Petermeyer, chief... Read more
California Giant Berry Farms expands executive team
California Giant Berry Farms kicked off the new year by adding a new member to its executive team, welcoming Sean Martin as chief financial officer to the growing company. Martin will supersede Dan Nicola as he begins his transition into retirement after serving as CFO for more than 30 years with the company. Nicola has been a strong and vital asset to the executive team, and a long-term friend to all at California Giant through his expansive and prosperous career. “I’d... Read more
With 40 years of retail experience, Terry Cook joins Trucco
Produce executives never underestimate the value of people who have decades of experience in the field. Terry Cook, who joined Hunts Point Terminal Market-based Trucco as retail sales representative last year, brings 40 years of experience to the company — and he brings another valuable trait: his experience is in the retail sector. “I came from the buying side to the selling side,” explained Cook, who is working from Florida in his new position. “I joined SuperValu... Read more
Varcode continues growth with new business development hires
Varcode, maker of patented digital, time and temperature sensitive supply chain solutions, has hired two new supply chain industry veterans to focus on business sales and account management. Erin Morant and Bruce Truesdale bring more than 40 years of combined industry experience to Varcode’s team serving the food and beverage, pharma and life science industries. “As we continue to commercialize the business, it’s imperative that we have the appropriate skills and... Read more
Marketing veteran joins Ten Acre Marketing
Erin Dickson, with over 20 years of experience in agriculture and marketing, has joined Ten Acre marketing as senior vice president of strategy. “I am absolutely thrilled for Erin to come on board. We’ve working together in the past, and our skills and energies really complement each other,” said Leah Halverson, chief executive officer of the company. “She thinks strategically and creatively to find opportunities for success and has a passion to help others thrive.... Read more
Wisconsin native elected president of National Onion Association
Wisconsin native Doug Bulgrin has been elected president of the National Onion Association and will serve as the nationwide organization’s chief for the next two years.The National Onion Association was incorporated in 1913 and represents more than 500 onion growers, shippers, packers and suppliers throughout the United States. He is the 32nd president of the National Onion Association. Trustees of the NOA elected him to the position in December during the organization’s... Read more
Thirteen members and 11 alternate members have been appointed by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to serve on the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. The appointees will serve three-year terms from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2022. The 20-member council is composed of 12 producers, four importers, two exporters, one handler and one public member. Each member seat has a corresponding alternate seat. Members and alternates can serve up to two consecutive... Read more
Eden Valley Growers Inc., one of the oldest and largest vegetable farm sales cooperatives in New York, added George Barker to its sales and procurement team. Barker brings over 40 years of experience in the produce business to Eden Valley. Barker began his career in 1975 as a produce clerk for Tops Markets of Buffalo. When he left Tops in the early 1990s Barker had attained the position of produce buyer/category manager. Barker eventually joined C&S Wholesale... Read more
Greenhouse pioneer retires from Sun Valley Farms
After 26 years in the USA Greenhouse industry, Dave Fahrenbruch is retiring from Sun Valley Farms Inc. of Loveland, CO. In 1993 Fahrenbruch started with Colorado Greenhouse as the vice president of sales and marketing, responsible for over 260 acres of production with greenhouse sites in Colorado, New Mexico and Mexico. Six years later he left and co-founded SunBlest Farms, a niche 12-acre greenhouse grower in Payton, CO, and stewarded the company’s expansion by... Read more
Vision Produce Co. hires Scott Levario
Scott Levario has joined Vision Produce Co. and will be located in its Phoenix office. He will help grow the company's sales, procurement and distribution. Levario has an extensive background, which includes tenure at Safeway, holding positions of management in merchandising, buying and procurement.  Most recently he was regional director of procurement for Renaissance Food Group. “We are excited to have Scott join our team here in Phoenix," said Lance Nichols,... Read more