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Setton Pistachio looking  forward to outstanding season
Setton Pistachio is the second-largest pistachio grower and processor in the United States, offering bulk and retail pistachios to customers around the world. “With our position within the industry, we are able to innovate unique value-add items such as Flavored Pistachios, Dark Chocolate Pistachios and Pistachio Chewy Bites,” said Elise Silvester, sales and marketing manager for Setton International Foods Inc., based in Commack, NY. The 2018 pistachio... Read more
Babé Farms ‘Breaking Rad’ over radishes
Radishes are all the buzz at Babé Farms Specialties Inc. It’s led to a company-wide phrase of “Breaking Rad!” “Two new items we’re introducing are the large size Purple Ninja radish and a brand-new radish variety aptly named the French Violet,” said Ande Manos, marketing manager for the company. “The French Violet is petite and cylindrical in shape, much like the French Breakfast radish, but it’s a brilliant violet color that transitions to a white tip. The French... Read more
Early, good-quality crop for Central Produce
Like many other Treasure Valley onion operations, Central Produce Distributors in Payette, ID, saw an early start to the 2018 season, and General Manager Ray Burzota said in late August the company was “real busy and packing hard” as it shipped yellows, reds and whites. Central Produce Distributors’ crew shows off the company’s labels. Pictured are Ray Burzota, Austin Wagstaff, Dan Phillips, Dan Conklin and Oscar Nuñez. Burzota said, “The growing season turned... Read more
J.C. Watson ‘turning challenges into opportunities’
Transitioning into the 2018-19 Idaho-Eastern Oregon onion shipping season on Aug. 10, J.C. Watson Packing Co. in Parma, ID, saw not only an earlier start to the season but also a smooth one. “The season has been going very well,” J.C. Watson President Jon Watson said in late August. “The onions are moving at a good pace, and our early crop has been exceptionally good.” Noting the first onions to come in were “a bit smaller than normal,” Watson said the storage... Read more
Golden West’s 2017 facility  sees new expansion in 2018
Last year’s onion season saw Golden West Produce packing and shipping from its brand new facility in the Parma, ID, and this year the company has expanded that operation to include double automated bagging and an increased buffer hopper capacity, along with additional upgrades and enlargements. Golden West, previously located in Nyssa, OR, was among the harder hit Treasure Valley onion operations during winter 2017’s destructive snow and ice storms. The company... Read more
Mangos are in year-round supply at Panorama Produce
Over the last 20 years, Panorama Produce Sales Inc. has built a successful mango importing program, growing to be one of the five largest mango importers in the United States. “Our focus is on mangos and we have a year-round program,” said Eric Nagelberg, one of the principals of Mamaroneck, NY-based Panorama Produce Sales. “We focus on quality, and our desire to learn our customers’ needs and being able to provide them with what they need,” Nagelberg said. “We... Read more
‘Slice. Scoop. Enjoy!’ with A.J. Trucco’s year-round kiwi program
Headquartered at the Hunts Point Terminal Market in the Bronx, NY, A.J. Trucco specializes in a wide range of the highest-quality specialty produce items available in the world. In early September, and in addition to numerous other year-round programs, Trucco’s kiwifruit program was promoting SunGold brand kiwifruit, and the company was gearing up for one of its busiest seasons. “We’re heading into our Italian kiwifruit season,” said Nick Pacia, company president,... Read more
Stellar Distributing offers kiwi year-round
There are people who want to enjoy kiwifruit all year long, and Stellar Distributing is helping consumers to appreciate the flavors of this delicious and healthy fruit 365 days of the year. “We do kiwi 24/7,” said Kurt Cappelluti, sales manager at Stellar Distributing, based in Madera, CA. “We do about 400 to 500 pallets a week, 52 weeks of the year. And because the Northern and Southern hemispheres complement each other, we have it available all year.” Stellar... Read more
Strong Peruvian onion crop following good Vidalia season
Delbert Bland, owner and president of Vidalia, GA-based Bland Farms LLC, estimates that he has been going to the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit for a quarter century — and he’ll be in Orlando again in October. “Naturally, we’ll be promoting sweet onions, which is what we are known for,” he told The Produce News about a month before the convention and trade show kicks off. “We’ll have our sweet onions from Peru.” Bland noted that the company grows... Read more
Marolda hoping for a good fall season
vineland, nj — “There’s a lot of competition in the market, and stuff is just not moving the way it should,” Richard Marolda Jr. of Marolda Farms told The Produce News Tuesday, Aug. 14. “Prices are not strong.” That was Marolda’s view on New Jersey’s season to date, and he offered an example. “Sicilian eggplant usually starts strong, but this year the price was half of what it usually was — if you could sell them. Right now locally in Vineland they’re $5-6 a box;... Read more
Established way back in 1917 with just 400 acres in Vineyard, NJ, Dandrea Produce has long been a staple in the Jersey produce industry and has grown into a fourth-generation farming operation with numerous growers and thousands of acres. “Dandrea Farms not only directly farms, but we provide and work with 15 additional growers to support our local Jersey Fresh program,” said Steve Dandrea, vice president of sales and marketing for the company. “Trends are moving... Read more
Southern Speciaties  eyes October promotions
With a Peruvian asparagus crop fairly similar to the one that hit the U.S. market last fall, Southern Specialties is gearing up for good promotions during the always-strong October time frame. “Ideally promotions should be coordinated at the peak of the crop production,” said Carlos Solf, director of procurement for the firm with headquarters in Pompano Beach, FL. “USA is a major destination for Peruvian asparagus and several holidays fall within peak seasonality.” While... Read more
Advance Custom Brokers  continues to grow business
Five years ago — after a three-year hiatus — custom brokers Maria Bermudez and Pat Compres got back in the business with Advance Customs Brokers & Consulting, based in Miami, FL, and they report that business is better than ever. “I am surprised how quickly we were able to get the business back,” said Bermudez. “We are back to where we were and more.” Maria Bermudez and Pat Compres.The firm’s co-founder did credit “our great team and dedicated staff” for the... Read more
Except for a few months during the winter, Harvest Sensations, with operations on both coasts, imports Peruvian asparagus into the United States, with a large portion of its supplies going to the foodservice sector. “Other than during the dead of winter, we have Peruvian asparagus,” said Tony Pinto, director of sourcing for the firm. “We expect our shipments to be up 15-20 percent this year.” He said the Miami division of the firm skews heavily toward foodservice... Read more
Jamie Graiff looking forward to New Jersey’s fall season
newfield, nj — A hot summer can take its toll on crops anywhere. New Jersey has certainly been in that category this year, at least as of mid-August. “Between the heat waves and the heavy storms, it wasn’t the best growing season because of the inconsistencies,” Jamie Graiff of Dan Graiff Farms told The Produce News on a hot Tuesday morning, Aug. 14. “Volume was hurt — we lost a good bit early in the summer,” he added. “Quality was affected because of the high... Read more
Ayco offers new ‘stand-up’ asparagus bag
This summer, Ayco Farms Inc. started offering a new premium asparagus display-ready bag for retailers and will continue the introduction of that option as its Peruvian asparagus volume increases. “We’ve started offering that bag and have received very good acceptance from the industry,” said Dan O’Connor, the vice president of sales for the Pompano Beach, FL, firm. This new bag style offers “superior air flow to maximize shelf life and freshness,” he said. O’Connor... Read more
Carb/Americas expects solid season
With an expected volume of 800,000 to 900,000 cases of Peruvian asparagus during the prime shipping season, Carb/Americas Inc., in Pompano Beach, FL, expects the 2018-19 season to be fairly similar to previous years in terms of supplies and volume. President Jeff Friedman told The Produce News in mid-August that the total volume shipped from Peru to the United States will probably be a bit less than last year, but his firm’s volume will be about the same as it... Read more
CMI Orchards has big things ahead
CMI Orchards is looking forward to a strong 2018 Washington apple crop. “We have a lot of momentum going and are excited about how are organic manifest is expanding, not just in volume but also varieties,” said George Harter, vice president of marketing for the Wenatchee, WA-based company. “We’ve got some strong programs we will be unveiling at PMA.” One of the things CMI Orchards will be unveiling at the show is a new marketing program that it feels will be highly... Read more
Stemilt season jump-started by Rave, efficiency amped up by robotics
A slightly smaller crop with better fruit sizing in Washington bodes well for growers and retailers alike, and Stemilt Growers in Wenatchee jumped into the new season with its early Rave and stands ready with newer varietals and an uptick in organics for the season. According to Stemilt Communications Manager Brianna Shales, 2018 looks promising on all fronts, and the Aug. 6 Rave start was a highlight. “Believe it or not, Stemilt starts apple season in late July... Read more
2018 a year of growth for Okanagan Specialty Fruits
Though Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. is located in Summerland, BC, all of its commercial orchards are located in Washington state, where it grows its nonbrowning Arctic apples. “The region has been a focus because of the large availability of land and its optimal conditions for apple growing,” said Neal Carter, president of the company. “We’ve been extremely busy in the orchard rapidly planting more trees so that we can expand our fresh market presence. We have... Read more