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COMPANY PROFILES

Christopher Ranch excited about  new crop of California organic garlic
Christopher Ranch has been growing high-quality garlic for over 60 years. In the mid-1990s the company began producing organic garlic, and its line of organic specialty items has grown steadily since. Patsy Ross, marketing director for the Gilroy, CA-based company, said Christopher Ranch is excited over the new crop of organic garlic available this summer. Christopher Ranch’s line of organic products.“Even with annual increases of about 10 percent,... Read more
Taylor Farms, a leading producer of salads and fresh healthy foods based in Salinas, CA, held its annual Scholarship Luncheon on Friday, June 16, where $170,000 in college scholarships was awarded to 12 first-time scholarship recipients and 22 renewal scholarships. All of the recipients are children of active full-time Taylor Farms employees and received a $20,000 academic scholarship to support their journey in achieving a higher education. Recipients received... Read more
FAIRFAX, SC — On June 2, Coosaw Farms finished its blueberry harvest and the very next day started its watermelon harvest. Never a dull moment. Or as Angela L. O’Neal, director of sustainability and marketing, and daughter of the owners and founders, put it, “We’re a lean, fast-paced organization. We lost 60 percent of our blueberry crop from the mid-March weather this year. We’re hoping for a strong watermelon season.” O’Neal’s... Read more
Sage cites excellent stone fruit crop set during bloom
Late May predictions by Chuck Sinks, president of Sage Fruit Co. in Yakima, WA, for the 2017 stone fruit season called for good volume with a somewhat later start to harvest. “So far, so good,” Sinks said when asked how the Northwest stone fruit season is shaping up. “The longer winter and cooler spring temperatures that the Pacific Northwest experienced this year have pushed harvest dates back a bit from last season, but overall we had an excellent... Read more
Atlantic’s Art Galletta expecting good volume and quality this blueberry season
HAMMONTON, NJ — The 2017 New Jersey blueberry season should be marked by good volume, good quality and a favorable marketing situation, according to Art Galletta, president of Atlantic Blueberry Co., here. Art Galletta, president of Atlantic Blueberry Co., with a fill-by-weight machine at the end of May. Photo by Gordon M. Hochberg“Everything came through the winter in good shape,” Galletta told The Produce News Friday morning, May 26. “It... Read more
When one peruses the varieties of table grapes offered by Grapeman Farms and its marketing arm Stevco, the California long-time standard Thompson Seedless isn’t on the list. Vice President of Sales and Marketing Jared Lane said newer varieties with better flavor drive sales today. “Five years ago, it was eye appeal, size and color. Today the number one attribute is flavor,” he said. Of course, the ability to ship is a huge factor as a significant... Read more
Top Brass expects typical SJV grape season
As other grape shippers were getting ready to transition from one production area to the next, Top Brass Marketing Inc. was waiting for its grape year to begin as the firm is a San Joaquin Valley specialist. Top Brass expects to have California grapes until mid-December.According to President Brett Dixon, the firm’s first grapes of the year will be shipped in the early to mid-July time frame, though in late May it was still too soon to put an exact date on... Read more
Hearty Fresh Inc. is tying two key industry trends together to enjoy a thriving business. Nick Huizinga, general manager of the firm, in Byron Center, MI, said Hearty Fresh is capitalizing on retailer interest in both locally grown produce and custom packaging. Hearty Fresh packs Michigan vegetables grown by the firm and affiliated growers in its temperature-controlled, Primus and GFS food safety-certified warehouse. Hearty Fresh was launched by Nick’s... Read more
As DeFranco & Sons enters its second century of operation, the third generation of DeFranco’s are keeping the company, one of the first tomato re-packers on the West Coast, running on all cylinders. Vice president of sales Jerry DeFranco, who along with older brothers Richard and Paul co-owns the company, said the brothers have worked there since they were all kids. “Paul and Richard are 10 years older than me,” Jerry said, “and I remember... Read more
The Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market is a central hub for the West Coast, according to Donald Souther, senior vice president of marketing and sales development for the Vision Cos. “And it is a constant barometer for rising and falling costs, as well as information on availability, sourcing regions and future trends,” explained Souther. “For consumers on the West Coast, most of the produce in the stores they shop at has touched the Los Angeles... Read more
Spring hasn’t been friendly for corn growers, but Jason Turek, a partner in Turek Farms in Genoa, NY, has hopes that a sweet summer could turn things around. Turek is part of the fourth generation of his family to run the farm, where sweet corn is the primary crop. Turek Farms also grows cabbage, summer squash, winter squash, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and pumpkins. “It’s been a lousy spring up and down, especially in the northeastern... Read more
Kurt Zuhlke & Associates Inc. in Bangor, PA, is a leading packaging manufacturer and an advocate of environmentally sustainable practices. Kurt Zuhlke Jr., company president, has personally designed and developed some of the most widely accepted packaging products in the produce industry today. He told The Produce News that retailers, wholesalers, growers and distributors in New York state are an integral part of the company’s business, and company’s... Read more
The organic vegetable program of Divine Flavor LLC once expanded to two production areas in Mexico to offer customers 12-month supplies. But declining seasonal production in one area wasn’t always timed perfectly to be covered by an increase in the subsequent area. So, according to Carlos Bon Jr., the company’s fruit category manager, his brother, grower David Bon, expanded to a third production area to have seamless organic supplies throughout the... Read more
Vincent B. Zaninovich & Sons Inc., located in Delano, CA, will once again be a major corporate sponsor for the Organic Produce Summit, and all involved are looking forward to the show building on the momentum of the premiere event. “We were very impressed with the turnout last year, and I think a lot of mainstream retailers are looking at this double-digit growth in the organic category and are making the decision to be committed and passionate about... Read more
In response to the growing demand for organic mushrooms, Phillips Mushroom Farms has developed a new organic product that the company will feature at its booth (No. 210) at the Organic Produce Summit, July 12-13 in Monterey, CA. “The new item is Phillips Mushroom Farms Organic Gourmet Blend, which comes in a four-ounce pack,” said Kevin Donovan, national sales manager for the Kennett Square, PA-based mushroom producer. “It combines sliced baby... Read more
Peri’s BBQ Bloomer campaign features Central California supers
Peri & Sons’ Firebaugh, CA, facility began shipping its first loads of the super colossal yellow sweets in BBQ Bloomer Onion bags the first week of June, and according to Director of Marketing Teri Gibson, the campaign will run through the summer. The central points of the promo are the five-inch supers and a portable grill from Coleman, which match up to create what Gibson said is “a really beautiful looking, almost translucent bloomin’ onion.” The... Read more
Mission’s Peru production gaining momentum
Mission Produce Inc.’s avocado production from Peru is getting a big boost this year as it has a new ranch coming into its own and producing a good-sized crop. Robb Bertels, vice president of marketing for the Oxnard, CA-based firm, revealed that a handful of years ago Mission secured three different groves in Peru and began planting avocados. In total, those groves have about 5,000 acres of Hass avocado trees. Two of the ranches, located in the middle of... Read more
The Freshwave expecting big increase in New Jersey blueberry volume
Consalo Family Farms is anticipating a much larger volume of New Jersey blueberries this year compared to last year, according to Tom Consalo, vice president of The Freshwave, which is the sole marketer of all products grown by Consalo Family Farms. How much more volume is he expecting? “I want to say a 25 percent increase. That’s what we’re seeing on our farms,” he told The Produce News Thursday afternoon, May 25, at the company’s... Read more
Dublin Farms anticipating early start due to good spring weather
Horntown, VA-based Dublin Farms Inc., grows, packs and ships potatoes for the fresh market. The company also grows snap beans for processing, as well as corn, soy beans and wheat for the poultry industry. These crops are beneficial for rotation purposes, confirming the company’s claim as being conscientious stewards of the land. In late May, David Hickman, vice president of the company, told The Produce News that the Eastern Shore has had ideal... Read more
Sunny Valley International looking forward to ‘bluetiful’ New Jersey crop
“Bluetiful” is a catchword that Sunny Valley International uses to encapsulate a highly desirable blueberry crop condition, and it’s using it once again to describe this season’s New Jersey crop. In late May, Bob Von Rohr, director of customer relations for the Glassboro, NJ-based company, said this year’s New Jersey blueberry crop is on track for an outstanding season. New Jersey blueberries from Sunny Valley International.“Things... Read more