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COMPANY PROFILES

Maine Farmers Exchange touts flavor of state’s potatoes
The Maine Farmers Exchange is located in the potato and broccoli growing areas of Northern Maine and Western New Brunswick. For more than five decades it has provided full-service sourcing for tablestock, seed and processing potatoes. “We were founded in 1958 and I have been here since 1977, so I’ve seen my way through more than a few potato crops,” said Bob Davis, president of the company, headquartered in Presque Isle, ME. “We do all potatoes, and other vegetables... Read more
Cambridge Farms builds on its legacy in Maine
Cambridge Farms’ relationship with Maine’s potato growers dates way back, to when the company was founded more than 36 years ago and was primarily a Northeastern potato shipper. “Obviously, we spread out across the country and we evolved into nationwide shippers but the foundation of what we were built on in 1983 was being an East Coast shipper and specifically a Northeast shipper,” said Ken Gad, chief executive officer of Cambridge Farms, which has offices in... Read more
Wada Farms organic programs continue to grow
With demand for organically-grown produce continuing to increase, Wada Farm Marketing Group LLC in Idaho Falls, ID, made a commitment several years ago to greatly expand its organic offerings across all of its product lines. That effort is ongoing, as the company continues not only to increase its volume of organic products but also to extend availability, with a goal of being able to offer organic potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes as close to year-round as possible. ... Read more
Lakeside Organic Gardens explains philosophy in new video
During the recent Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit in Anaheim, CA, Lakeside Organic Gardens introduced a new video to help inform its customers of its philosophy and commitment to the organic sector. “We are a vertically integrated company and our video portrays all facets of growing, harvesting, cooling, selling and shipping,” said Marliese McWherter, creative marketing manager for the Watsonville, CA-based firm. “We are 100 percent organic and... Read more
Organics and social responsibility boost Borquez’ business
A century-old, fourth-generation Sonoran family business is now extending from being a grower to a fresh produce distributor. The family patriarch, Pablo Borquez, with his sons Sergio and Alvaro, has created Borquez Exports LLC, which is in Scottsdale, AZ. “The goal is to excel in our services to retailers,” Borquez told The Produce News. “We aim for a direct business model that would allow for full transparency and lower costs.” It was 100 years ago that... Read more
Airwave brings Organic and Produce Display Systems to the U.S. market
This unique produce display system that extends produce life is expanding into the U.S. as a result of retailer interest due to its effectiveness at reducing shrink and waste.Ray Gagne, founder of Airwave Produce Management Systems, and Matt Lurie, president of Organic Garage, talk produce sustainability at the latest store opening in Toronto. Airwave has been very effective with Organic’s “Airwave helps us to reduce produce waste and by taking gases away provides... Read more
Organics Unlimited roots run deep in organic bananas
Organics Unlimited is a preeminent grower and distributor of organic bananas in North America and has been a leader in the marketplace since it started operation in 2000. “We have been growing organic since day one because it produces the healthiest, best-tasting banana as well as being the safest thing for farmers, consumers, communities surrounding our farms and for the environment,” said Mayra Velazquez de Leon, president and founder of the San Diego, CA-based... Read more
Garden Fresh Salad Co. is the processed produce expert
It is easy to understand why an increasing number of New England foodservice professionals are turning to Garden Fresh Salad Co. for their processed vegetable needs. Among Garden State Salad Co.’s services is a pre-cut program where it will dice up and package custom combinations for its customers’ specific needs, including for salad blends and stir-fry, helping restaurateurs to enrich their menus. “We offer consistency in the quality of our product,” Patrick... Read more
Prime Time enjoying success in Nogales
Prime Time Produce carries its nickname, “The Pepper People” with pride and for more than 25 years has been a leader in growing, packing and shipping quality colored peppers in the United States. Over the last few years, the Coachella, CA-based company has also become a major supplier of sweet mini peppers and asparagus, as well as increasing its interest in items such as vine-ripened tomatoes, watermelon and sweet corn. One of the areas that has contributed to... Read more
MAS’ buying brokerage flourishing a year later
rio rico, az — A buying brokerage for MAS Melons & Grapes LLC was created in September 2018. That plan has worked very well, according to Miky Suarez, who is MAS’ partner and sales manager. “At the end, it is the same company, but we operate totally separately.” Given the brokerage staff, there was little doubt that it would be a success. Rosie Cornelius, Jerry Meek, Olga de la Torre with Miky Suarez at the MAS Brokerage office, which overlooks the mountain... Read more
Frello arrives with ‘Fresh Hello’
rio rico, az — Frello. It’s not a Spanish word with a challenging pronunciation. It’s a word created as a name for a new produce company. Frello, Willy Martinez explained, is a combination of “fresh” and “hello.” Friendly, simple and easy to say: FRELL-o. It rhymes will “hello.” And it’s fresh. Willy Martinez, Frello partner, and Sergio Yepiz, who handles operations, in the Rio Rico office of Frello in early November, as the business was a few days from officially... Read more
Weis-Buy Farms thrives with tomatoes and peppers
One call. That’s all. That is the slogan Weis-Buy Farms Inc. used when the company began almost 30 years ago, and it is still apropos today, although with a slightly narrowed meaning. “We thought we could be successful in all areas of produce, but we soon found out we were better at the tomato, pepper and cucumber business, purchasing and marketing, than other areas,” explained Chuck Weisinger, chief executive officer of Fort Myers, FL-based Weis-Buy Farms. Weisinger... Read more
Growth continues for Southern Specialties
Working from its Pompano Beach, FL headquarters for a tad under three decades, Southern Specialties has seen first-hand the value of operating in the state of Florida and being a trusted grower and hub for imported specialty fruits and vegetables from South America, Central America, Mexico and the U.S. and Canada. “We’re having a good year. Fortunately, we skated any major hurricanes on the domestic side and though we’re always at the whim of Mother Nature, we... Read more
Cindy’s Kitchen launching additional dressings and dips
Cindy’s Kitchen, a family-owned manufacturer for over 22 years of upscale, refrigerated salad dressings and dips found in produce departments nationwide has introduced additional sizes: 11-ounce salad dressings and eight-ounce dips with organic, plant based and traditional options. Dozens of flavors are available now with several more new dressings to begin shipping to storesv soon, including Blood Orange Poppyseed Dressing, New England Cranberry Vinaigrette, Cole... Read more
Northampton Growers expecting an outstanding Florida season
Vegetable growers that follow the seasonal flow from Florida northward, and then reverse their programs back to the south each year are especially vulnerable to inclement weather conditions that cause damage or loss to field crops. Northampton Growers Produce Sales Inc., headquartered in Cheriton, VA, is no exception. The company follows the seasons from South, Central and North Florida, to Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia and then on to Michigan. It then reverses... Read more
Record crop on tap this year for Oakes Farms
Fall 2019 is shaping up to be one for the record books at Oakes Farms. “The fall crop is our best crop we ever had, the weather has been very hot, but overall it is still the best fall crop we have had. Our yield is up 15 to 18 percent right now,” said Steve Veneziano, president. Immokalee, FL-based Oakes Farms grows a wide assortment vegetables during the fall and winter months, including all kinds of specialty peppers, bell peppers, eggplant, winter squash, summer... Read more
AFM promoting avocados — and the industry
Avocados From Mexico, the U.S. promotional arm of the Mexican avocado industry, is well known for its Super Bowl commercials as well as its overall effort to increase the sales of avocados in the United States. But the group and the growers it represents have launched several other initiatives as well for the betterment of its industry. Chad Darwin, associate director of corporate and brand communications for AFM, recently updated The Produce News on some of those... Read more
Dade Service offers customizable ripening rooms for avocados
Dade Service Corp., headquartered in DeLand, FL, is a fourth-generation family business specializing in design-build tarp-free ripening technologies, coolers, freezers and processing and fresh-cut coolers for the produce industry.  With more than 60 years of experience, the company has pioneered its way through the cold storage and ripening industry, offering cutting-edge solutions for growers, grocers, produce suppliers and fruit ripeners. The... Read more
Rico Farms expands social programs in 2019
Rico Farms in Hermosillo, Mexico views its social programs as a catalyst for changing its workers lives, both on and off the farm. “We don’t just want better employees; we want the workers to be better people in our community and to provide better opportunities for all our workers” said Rico Farms’ operations director Jacobo Yanes. The Tapia family owns and operates three Rico Farms locations in Mexico where they grow organic summer and winter squash, melons, cucumbers,... Read more
Ripe and bagged fruit driving Calavo’s avocado sales
Over the past decade, Calavo Growers Inc. in Santa Paula, CA, has continually added ripening rooms around the country and beefed up its bagging capabilities at each of its packing facilities. These twin efforts have enabled the company to increase its sales of pre-conditioned fruit as well as value-oriented bagged avocados. Both of those retail offerings are on-trend in the avocado business. Rob Wedin, vice president of fresh sales and marketing for the company,... Read more