Macadu Fresh uses experience to gain an edge
That is what Mike Madden said makes Macadu Fresh, a full-service produce shipper, stand out with its retail and wholesale partners. Formed in 2021, the Newfield, NJ-based company is already noticed by many in the industry for its import and domestic grower programs, quality service to its customers and staying ahead of the curve.
“Why should retailers or customers buy from Macadu Fresh? That’s a great question,” said Madden, the president and founder of the company. “I think that Macadu Fresh’s service really sets us apart from other companies. We are willing to go above and beyond to cover orders. At the end of the day, we all need each other — from the farmers to brokers, to shippers and retailers — to keep putting quality produce on the shelves.”
Madden started the company as the next step in his long and successful career that now spans more than 25 years. Noting that he has always had an entrepreneurial spirit — he started working in the trade at 14 — and was ready to start his own business, he used his strong business relationships to get the company off the ground.
“During my career I have built tremendous relationships and have built on those relationships over the years,” he noted. “There is a big advantage when you have such strong partnerships. It really allows you to grow as a company. I have learned from the challenges and solutions which will help Macadu Fresh move forward in this ever-changing industry and fascinating industry.”
It was the firsthand knowledge of working with local, domestic and international farmers that has allowed Madden and Macadu Fresh to succeed. “You cannot learn this business by just going to college, you need to experience it firsthand,” he added. “Understanding that you will always have an issue and just need to find a solution is crucial. Plus, I always remember that no one has a crystal ball but if I can just try and mitigate issues it will help Macadu in the long run.”
While the company is focusing on its import citrus program, Madden said he is extremely aware of what is going on with New Jersey farmers. “It is shaping up to be a great season. We are very optimistic from a weather standpoint,” he said. “We are going to start New Jersey blueberries in the first week of June and we think the crops is going to be very good. So far, the weather has been cooperating and that is going to help us a lot.”
Madden added that Macadu Fresh offers avocadoes, mangos, citrus, blueberries and strawberries year-round. The company is focusing on growing programs and getting a few more partner deals. “We love working directly with the farmers and trying to grow together,” he said. “We have our Macadu label and are doing some private labeling for customers at the moment and looking to build that program over the next year.”
He also said that Macadu will continue to adapt to the ever-changing produce industry, particularly as the industry gets more difficult to navigate and it takes more and more effort to succeed.
“There are things that are out of our control from the weather or the rising cost of labor and packing,” Madden said, “but the things we can control are transportation, the quality and pricing of the product. Macadu Fresh’s focus to help grow year after year and become more established in the industry. Since we are a relatively new company, we need to work harder than other companies and our team embraces the challenge. We are ready for whatever it takes to be successful.”