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Nardelli stays true to its strategy

By
Seth Mendelson

Bill Nardelli Sr. wants to be very clear—his 126-year-old company is doing all it can to be as efficient as possible as it continues to produce healthy fruit and vegetables for its customer base during these high inflationary times.

nardelliAs the longtime president of Cedarville, NJ-based Nardelli Bros., Nardelli is quite candid that his company, like many in the produce industry, is being impacted by higher labor, packaging, distribution and other costs. Still, these higher costs will not prevent the company from maintaining its standards and offering the end user a safe, tasty and healthy product at a price point that is attainable.

“We realize our customers must prioritize their purchases due to inflation being so high in so many other aspects of their lives,” he said. “Therefore, we strive for efficiencies to produce quality product.”

In the midst of this, Nardelli is thankful for the help he has already received from his retail and wholesale customers in continuing to market the company’s products. “Our retail and wholesale partners are doing a great job marketing our products and trying to offer promotions to consumers to attract extra business,” he said. “We are very pleased with our distribution network and the efforts they are putting forth to help us during these tough times.

“Our retail and wholesale partners understand that we want to be efficient,” he said. “The best part is that we are fortunate that they are also quite open to conversation about this situation and understand what is happening to the American farmer these days and want to work with us.”

Nardelli said that, in some cases, costs at his fifth-generation family-owned company have increased by as much as 30 percent to 40 percent or more. “We are experiencing the same type of inflation as the customer and, unfortunately, we have to pass some of those increases along,” he said. As for the crop this spring, Nardelli is happy with the way things are turning out after a rough start weather-wise in much of the southern part of the country. “Things are good and business is good,” he said. “It was a challenging winter season with adverse conditions and a cold winter throughout the south that hindered winter crops and created some supply gaps in south Florida, in Mexico and even into California, which saw more rain than normal. Fortunately, we have had the ability to maintain decent supplies and facilitate our customers.”

But, he quickly added, the spring weather has improved, especially in Florida and southern Georgia and that is helping the crop and availability of product.

Still, he said that after a warmer-than-normal early March, temperatures in the northern part of the country have been below average for a few weeks into April. Cooler weather means the consumer is not thinking about the traditional spring and summer products like corn, beans, squash and cucumbers yet. “It has not been optimal for spring promotions on Florida vegetables thus far,” he said. “We are hopeful that late April and May will bring much warmer weather and get the consumer into the right frame of mind.

“Corn is coming on very well and should be exceptional quality. The beans supply should be very good as well as squash, peppers and cucumbers from southern and central Florida. We also expect good seasons for cabbage and lettuce production, including romaine, parsley and green and red leaf.”

The company plans to support its products into the summer. “Promotions are a big aspect of our business and sales,” Nardelli said. “We always want to promote products and develop things that people associate with spring such as corn, green beans and the salad mixes. When the weather gets warmer and the days longer, people really start to look for the summer vegetables and more barbecuing outdoors.”

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