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Dandrea Produce is truly a family affair

By
Seth Mendelson

Everybody is treated like family to the people who run Dandrea Produce.

The Vineland, NJ-based company, founded in 1917 as a small local growing operation, has earned its stripes in the produce industry by treating everyone they do business with tender loving care. How is that approach working? Today, 106 years after the company was founded, Dandrea is a major grower-distributor that services 30 of the nation’s top retailers with products grown in eight states and 13 countries around the globe.

“My great-grandfather ran a small farm and grew produce for the members of his community and it makes us proud to say we still operate that farm today,” said Peter Dandrea, the director of sales for the company. “Our family is proud to continue to own and operate Dandrea Produce after 106 years in the industry. I’ve been working for our company for 10 years now. I’m a member of the fourth generation of Dandrea’s to work the company, alongside my cousin, Jana, and my sisters, Lauren and Bridget.

“Growing in the company while learning the entire produce process has been a great experience for me,” Dandrea continued. “As director of sales, I’m working hard with our team to create programs that offer innovative ways to keep the growing community thriving while offering value to our customers.”

 Dandrea said that the entire company operates under the belief that fresh fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy and happy lifestyle. “I think we differ from other companies because we strive to treat our customers and our community like they are our family,” he noted. “We have learned to be sustainable, honest and deliberate in our approach to growing, processing and delivering the highest quality produce.”

Dandrea works with a wide variety of items year-round. That includes handling cold storage and repacking for all products, which allows the company to plan and execute year-round private label programs for its retail partners. Currently, the company is setting up promotions on its seamless blueberry deal that takes them from Georgia to North Carolina, New Jersey and British Columbia before moving to its winter import program.

“On citrus, we are beginning to see imported clementines, navels and lemons board vessels and make their way to the United States, Dandrea added. “Our Mexican grape program is weeks away from harvest, showing great progress with full, healthy bunches on the vines. Finally, we are proud to continue to push our local New Jersey conventional and organic vegetable deal. Our customers love local products as they are fresher, more nutritious, decrease food mileage, and help our communities create sustainable job opportunities.

Dandrea emphasized that in an increasingly competitive retail sales environment, it is important for suppliers to deliver safe, quality produce at a value. To provide this service, Dandrea has vertically integrated all aspects of the field-to-fork process, handling all operations including pre-harvest planning, planting, harvesting, packing, storing and shipping.

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