FresCo is keeping pace with changing demographics
FresCo LLC is located in units 153-157 on Row A of the New York City Terminal Produce Market in Bronx, NY.
Charlie DiMaggio, company president, said they are currently promoting mangos, pineapples and plantains.
“When you look at the changing demographics you will see many newly arriving cultures from around the world to the Northeast,” said DiMaggio. “Logically, after finding out about the produce common to their countries, our goal is to provide fresh products that are similar or imported from their homelands. This has resulted in FresCo acquiring new customers, and we are also noticing repeat business and inquiries to other items we handle.”
Now in its eighth year and continuing to grow, FresCo has now added independent brokers to its firm. “These individuals bring many years of experience, and they service customers beyond Hunts Point and the tri state area,” said DiMaggio.
Previously occupying units on a different row, FresCo relocated and expanded into its new facility 18 months ago. “During this time we have fine-tuned the facility as well as focused on our employee work area to insure a comfortable and safe environment,” said DiMaggio.
Looking into the future of the spring movement, he said that growers are reporting strong availability of product this year, acknowledging that the biggest factor, as always, will be weather-related conditions.
“In a supply and demand environment, however, there are few, if any times where both come together perfectly,” he said. “Despite that, we feel that a good, steady product flow will encourage more demand from consumers. They tend to buy the same items over and over, and when they see good quality combined with good value, they tend to repeat purchases even more.”
He added that these situations are controlled by product availability as well as the farmer’s ability to get quality produce to the marketplace. As product becomes available and market meets demand, the realization of a glut, shortage or an even flow will become evident.
DiMaggio pointed out that in Hunts Point Terminal Market, just as any other terminal market today, the future of the markets’ success is by implementing as many safety measures to control and ensure that safe and quality product is delivered 100 percent of the time.
“FresCo is currently in the process of receiving our Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, commonly referred to as HACCP,” said DiMaggio. “This is a systematic preventive approach to food safety from biological, chemical and physical hazards. We are nearing the end of the HACCP program and look forward to being FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA, compliant. All of our employees are both eager and excited to master the new regulations, which they will implement into their daily work regimens.”
FresCo actively looks to source additional product locally, but DiMaggio is fully cognizant of the fact that locally grown should not be defined by proximity to its facility or even that it be grown domestically.
“It is easier, quicker and, even more importantly, fresher, for us to source pineapples grown in Costa Rica than from our neighbors in Mexico,” said DiMaggio. “That being said, every commodity that we source and supply must stand on its own and go through analyzes. As it has been asked before, ‘is it better to buy locally from a farmer that has old machinery that leaves a bigger carbon footprint, or to buy from further away from growers who have modern techniques and that have a lesser impact on our environment?’”
However, when doing its final analyzing, FresCo tends to side with local producers in the tri state area when all is equal.
“Responsible business owners have to come to their own conclusions,” DiMaggio said. “At FresCo, we believe that by taking the time to look at all aspects carefully, we can achieve both profitability and environmentally sound choices.”
FresCo’s website, www.frescony.com, is a fully interactive site that provides produce professionals with information on the company’s line, current programs, daily market specials, the company’s wholesale and retail services, national industry reports and even easy ordering instructions.