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COMPANY PROFILES

Limoneira predicts favorable summer season
For more than a century, Limoneira had used a variety of marketers to sell its citrus crops. As the calendar turned to the millennium, the Santa Paula, CA-based company began marketing its own lemon production and about three years ago, it successful started the other citrus varieties it grows. With 3,500 acres of lemons throughout California, Limoneira is one of the largest lemon producers in North America, and the company maintains an orchard of more than 300... Read more
Busy times for Kurt Zuhlke & Associates
Summer is a busy time for Kurt Zuhlke & Associates Inc., aka ProducePackaging.com, and that’s just how those running the Bangor, PA-based company like it. The company provides the produce industry with clamshells, bubble packs, herb packs, berry pads and a wide variety of produce packaging solutions — all with a sustainable mindset. The company distances itself from foam and polystyrene, and relies mostly on Polyethylene Terephthalate packaging solutions, which... Read more
Coosmans LA shipping in tune with produce industry
For more than 35 years, Coosmans LA Shipping has been sourcing and consolidating unique fruits and vegetables for Los Angeles regional foodservice distributors, retail chains and chefs. Cole Firman, a salesperson at the company, said Coosmans LA services every major wholesale terminal market globally, so it is always in tune with what’s new and happening in the industry.  “Our warehouse is like a candy store. Stocked with goodies from every continent, besides... Read more
Coast Produce expands to meet growing demand
Last year, Coast Produce responded to the incredible growth of Los Angeles’ produce scene by opening two new warehouses that are located right across the street from its original warehouse on Bay Street. It was a move that doubled the company’s square footage. “The reason for that is we wanted to enhance the services that we offer our customers, and to be able to accommodate additional growth for new customers as we saw the business trends and what was going on... Read more
Harvest time for Rave apples is almost here
Now is the time to get Rave apple planning under way for the 2019 season. Stemilt’s communications manager, Brianna Shales, said this year is full of opportunity for retailers to boost apple sales and jump in on the fun with Stemilt’s team to show consumers just how great this new premium apple is. “We’re about six weeks away from the most exciting season yet for our new premium apple brand, Rave,” said Shales. “2019 will be a year of increased volumes, fun consumer... Read more
Riggio Distribution Co. changes with the times
When you work in the Michigan wholesale produce business, Dominic Riggio, president of Riggio Distribution Co., noted there’s always something new going on in the industry and something to keep things interesting. “From the changing of the seasons to a new business opportunity, we are never stagnate,” he said. “The nature of our business keeps us on our toes and constantly evolving and changing.”  As one of the largest produce wholesalers servicing the Midwest,... Read more
As a fourth-generation family-owned wholesale distributor, Rocky Produce has seen Michigan’s produce industry rise to become a major player in the U.S. Working out of Detroit’s Produce Terminal, the company deals in a full line of fruits and vegetables from local, domestic, and international sources. It has a strong customer base in Detroit and the surrounding areas, but its distribution area has expanded through the years to include retailers in the Midwest,... Read more
Dole's Lion King-inspired recipes perfect for Father's Day
Dole is celebrating the iconic father-son themes of Disney’s The Lion King film, and empowering men in kitchens everywhere, with seven new dad-friendly recipes in time for Father’s Day on June 16. The original breakfast, smoothie, salad, snack and soup recipes — including a bold new Dole Fro-Whip made with bananas, blueberries and coconut milk — are among 10 new dishes unveiled as part of Dole’s “Powering the Hero Within” (#DoleHero) healthy-living initiative inspired... Read more
Berry People transitions to Pacific Northwest blueberry supplies, announces late-season organic offering
Berry People, a year-round, full-line supplier of organic and conventional branded berries and avocados, is transitioning to its blueberry supply to the Pacific Northwest as the Mexican and California seasons wind down. The company will be offering branded blueberries from Washington state starting in late June and from British Columbia in Canada starting around July 10. Its North American blueberry volumes will grow significantly this year and will be available... Read more
Wholesum greenhouse expansion to bring 3.5 million pounds of organic tomato
Wholesum has added six acres of 100 percent organic tomato production to its existing 18-acre facility. The new greenhouse will hold the latest technology for innovative and sustainable production, which is at the core of Wholesum’s social and environmental commitments. The expansion will also bolster Wholesum’s commitment to Fair Trade and the worker communities they support. With the first harvest anticipated in November of 2019, the new greenhouse will bring... Read more
 Hand picking is the secret to Sunny Valley’s blueberry success
The folks at Sunny Valley International are in a blue mood this summer — and that’s a good thing because it means the 2019 New Jersey blueberry crop is right on schedule with an outstanding crop expected. “We do approximately 800,000 to one million cases of pint equivalent blueberries for the season,” Robert Von Rohr, director of customer relations at Sunny Valley International told The Produce News. Glassboro, NJ-based Sunny Valley represents a cooperative of... Read more
Atlantic’s Art Galletta expecting  good crop of Jersey blueberries
HAMMONTON, NJ — Barring unforeseen weather events, New Jersey should produce more blueberries than last year, with good quality and sizing, according to Art Galletta, president of Atlantic Blueberry Co., here. Art Galletta with some Duke variety blueberries. Photo by Gordon M. Hochberg.Volume for the state “should be better than average,” Galletta told The Produce News Monday afternoon, May 20. “Not quite a bumper crop, but it should definitely beat last year.... Read more
Additional blueberry acreage at Consalo Family Farms
With a mild winter and good pollination as a foundation, Consalo Family Farms is anticipating New Jersey blueberries to be marked by strong volume and good quality, according to Joe Rosa, vice president of the company, based in Vineland, NJ. “So far the weather’s been very good for us,” Rosa told The Produce News Wednesday, May 22. “These last couple of weeks, it’s been very good. Two to three weeks ago it was rainy, but it didn’t hurt the crop. Pollination this... Read more
When Fruit Royale Managing Partner Louie Galvan looks around him he sees a situation where there is no longer a true “normal,” yet his firm is experiencing a season of status quo. He noted that the Delano, CA, grower-shipper has no new packs or varieties this year and expects to continue on its same trajectory of increased production providing grapes throughout the year from its normal sources. Though normal is a difficult word to use these days. “I’m not sure... Read more
Starr Ranch forecasts  higher volume, shorter season
With cherry pollination wrapping up and the 2019 season growing season underway, Starr Ranch Growers of Wenatchee, WA, is reporting higher volumes and a somewhat compressed harvest window. “Cherries are humming along with the bees just finishing their pollination,” stated Brent Shammo of Starr Ranch Growers. “In the field we’re seeing a decently compressed season, however the crop is looking better than last year with more volume and good sizing.  We are going... Read more
Krichmar Produce ready for  New Jersey’s spring produce season
VINELAND, NJ— With a generally mild winter, New Jersey’s spring produce crops have started pretty much on time, according to Jay Krichmar, president of Krichmar Produce Co., here. At Krichmar Produce in early May with New Jersey asparagus were (kneeling) Moises Lozano, Victor Najera, Sam White, and (standing) Jay Krichmar, Brian Bassetti, Matt Rieti and Medio Bassetti. Photo by Gordon M. Hochberg.“Some of the early crops came a bit early, some were on time,” Krichmar... Read more
Demand for Phillips Mushroom Farms’ organics growing at a rapid pace
Always at the top of its organic game, Phillips Mushroom Farms keeps its finger on the pulse of consumer trends, movements and lifestyle changes. The Kennett Square, PA-based company produces a full line of conventional mushrooms, and in recent years its focus has been strongly on organics. The company is always examining and developing new items that fill the strong and growing demand. Added to its already extensive organic line, the company recently added 20-ounce... Read more
Triple J Produce counting on good pricing for sweet potatoes in 2019
A family-owned business that dates back three generations, Triple J Produce Inc. deals in a diverse number of crops and takes great pride in producing quality fresh produce. The company grows 1,400 acres of conventional sweet potatoes and another 250 acres of organic, though the latter number has seen an increase recently. Overall, it farms more than 5,000 acres, with more than 20 percent certified organic. “We feel at Triple J that being a family oriented business... Read more
Vick Family Farms continuing a proud tradition
With 45 years of family tradition behind it, Vick Family Farms pays close attention to detail. Those in the family feel that is what sets it apart from others in the industry. The Wilson, NC-based company prides itself on hard work, integrity and providing great service. “We always strive for the best quality on a consistent basis,” said Charlotte Vick, a partner for the company. “All four owners of Vick Family Farms are managers and either in the fields or in... Read more
Northampton Growers anticipate a great North Carolina summer crop
On May 10, Calvert Cullen, president of Northampton Growers, told The Produce News that as the company was gearing up for its North Carolina crops, it was still in the process of finishing harvesting in Florida. “Florida will be done by the end of May,” said Cullen. “The season is unfolding nicely. Prices are holding and the crop is in great shape. The spring season typical comes with good weather, so we hold out hope for a great crop up the east coast with minimal... Read more