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Vanguard and Sage Fruit partner on Washington fruit

Vanguard International’s Pride Packing Co. has joined Sage Fruit Co. to enhance the marketing, sales and distribution of its fruit as part of Vanguard’s global growth and mission to supply fresh, quality-assured produce 365 days a year. The focus of Sage Fruit will concentrate on promoting Pride’s domestic Washington state apples, pears, cherries, apricots, peaches and nectarines.clip image002

“We are very happy to join Sage as an equity partner and to continue our working relationship with this industry leader to market and sell the fruit we grow and pack in Washington,” said Craig Stauffer, Vanguard’s chief executive officer. “We look forward to working closely with the Sage team and its members to deliver high-quality, great-tasting fruit to customers worldwide.”

Founded in 1999, Sage Fruit is a growing, marketing and sales organization made up of four family businesses from central Washington (Valley Fruit, Valicoff Fruit, Olympic Fruit and Larson Fruit). In 2015, Valley Fruit and Larson Fruit combined their packing operations and formed Legacy Fruit Packers (Wapato) with a state-of-the-art packing, storage and shipping facility. Each of its vertically integrated members is continuously adding acreage to their well-established farms, while also replanting current acreage with high-density, new-variety trees.

“We are excited by the addition of Vanguard Pride to the Sage Fruit Family,” said Steve Clement, general manager of Sage Fruit Co. “The addition of such a high-quality growing and packing operation to Sage is an important step in our overall growth strategy and will enhance our ability to supply our customers with the best-tasting, highest-quality tree fruit Washington state has to offer.”

Vanguard Pride is a vertically integrated 3,000-acre farming operation complete with its own packing and cold storage facilities and is one of Washington’s leading fruit producers. Further development of Vanguard Pride will continue to focus on planting additional acreage of complementary products that provide a unique taste experience and superior quality.

“We’re extremely proud of the success and development that has been created at Vanguard Pride and we look forward to further expanding our growth with the Sage marketing and sales organization,” said Brett Calhoun, general manager and vice president of Washington farming operations for Vanguard Pride Packing Co.