New CMI partnership expands pear distribution opportunities
CMI Orchards has entered into a partnership with Independent Warehouse Inc. to expand pear distribution to domestic and international retailers.
The Dryden, WA-based company will continue to grow and pack, and CMI Orchards will serve as the sales and marketing agent domestically and internationally. The partnership will add over 600,000 cartons of pears to CMI’s selling power, delivering exceptional Bartlett, Bosc, Red and Green D’Anjou pears to retail customers.
“We identified a growing need to increase our supply of pears to satisfy our customers’ needs and Independent was unmistakably a perfect fit for our long-term strategic growth plan,” said Bob Mast, president of CMI Orchards.
Sarah Barkley, sales manager for CMI Orchards who oversees the company’s pear program, spoke to the unparalleled opportunity the partnership brings. “The product quality at Independent Warehouse is impeccable and their commitment to delivering an exceptional eating experience to consumers is unrivaled. All of their pears are grown within a three-mile radius of their warehouse and every employee is hands on.”
The partnership with the third-generation company has allowed CMI Orchards to increase its supply to meet market demand.
“Our core competencies include growing, packing, storing, and shipping. CMI brings the same drive, passion, and work ethic to the table every day as we do and most importantly, they make all decisions in the best interest of the growers as well as their retail partners. We wanted to be aligned with a company who puts people first,” said Andrew Peterson of Independent Warehouse.
In addition to the partnership with Independent Warehouse, CMI continues to import delicious Southern Hemisphere pears from partners in Argentina. Kleppe grows pears that are branded under the world-renowned Gaucho label that are packed into CMI’s award-winning Sweet Gourmet Pears label and PAI grows exceptional organic pears that are packed into CMI’s Southern Hemisphere Daisy Girl Organics label. The partnerships that CMI has built with Independent Warehouse, Kleppe and PAI significantly improve CMI’s ability to meet the growing year-round needs of our retail customers.
Marketed under the Sweet Gourmet label, CMI Orchards produced the first-ever two-pound pear pouch bag for consumer sales. “Domestic bag sales are increasing very rapidly, and now account for 70 percent of our total pear sales,” Barkley said.