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Cassius launches Modern Veg Farms

RIO RICO, AZ — Over the last 15 years, Mark Cassius worked with growers in Mexico. In that period, growers “have made great strides in producing excellent quality fruits and vegetables, while also assuring to produce safe products and good programs of social compliance.”

Mark-Cassius-Beto-PerezMark Cassius and Beto Perez of Modern Veg Farms, in Rio Rico, AZ.Cassius has also long-been interested in creating a company to market those products. That dream came into fruition in early November, with the creation of Modern Veg Farms.

Cassius is the executive vice president and managing partner of the firm. He is aligned with two “substantial” Culiacan growers to distribute dry vegetables, cucumbers, green and red Bell peppers, eggplant, squash and Roma and round tomatoes. The products will be shipped in the wintertime, beginning in mid-November. “We’re having a conservative, smart start, with the right quality and right perception of the product in the trade. We are a new company, with old faces. Our reputation will speak for itself.”

Cassius continued, “We are evaluating other areas, but we want to do the right job starting in one area.”

All the products are Rainforest certified. Modern Veg Farms offers custom packs for its clients.

“We’re doing it all right,” he emphasized.

Cassius said Modern Veg Farms will have some crossings in the Rio Grande Valley.

Working with Cassius is Beto Perez, a Nogalian with 30 years of produce sales experience.

Initially, Modern Veg Farms is leasing office and warehouse space in the Harvest Pride facility in Rio Rico. At Harvest Pride, “I have known the people for some time. They are great at operations. I have a lot of confidence that they will help us accomplish what we need to achieve.”

Cassius has worked on the growing-shipping side of the produce industry for 27 years after eight years in food retailing, starting in high school. “This business is my passion. For me, it is one of the most exciting industries that exists.”

He noted that in his experience, retailers have gone from handing 70 produce SKUs to 700 or 800.

Cassius started his grower-side career with Del Monte Fresh Produce, working in various sales positions. He worked for Euro Fresh Farms for a decade, which is how be started to travel to see Mexican growers. He then worked for SunFed and Ciruli Bros. for several years.