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BRS aims for successful local season

By
JD LaTorre

Despite the unseasonable cold wrapping the Northeast this spring, BRS Produce Co. on the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market is looking forward to a thriving local season once product finally gets going.

“We handle sizeable volume of local product during the season,” said Rick Milavsky, BRS president. “It’s been a cold spring here and a lot of the winter-over items for early spring such as spinach and kale haven’t come up yet. But, we’re looking forward to the weather evening out and getting some good local supply hopefully soon.”

BRS works local deals from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York. “There is plenty of local fruit but a lot of local vegetables too,” said Milavsky. “Some top sellers include tomatoes, peppers, squash, pickles, greens and parsley. Just like in the past few years, local offers us an advantage in freight cost and time as well as freshness.”

Milavsky noted how health trends drive produce demand. “Consumers want to keep themselves in the best health, so they need to be encouraged to eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible,” he said. “We help our customers provide this by having what they need for their customers. We offer a full-line of vegetables from growing regions all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico and worldwide with particularly strong sales in tomatoes, mushrooms, avocados and limes.”

BRS stands in the gap for both shippers and customers to meet the needs of each side of the supply chain. “We know what we’re selling and we know who we’re selling to,” said Milavsky. “We want to do the best we can for both sides of the chain. We work from season to season to get the best produce wherever it is coming from. Sometimes freight is higher and cost is more to get it here. Sometimes there are shorts in the market. We negotiate a host of different factors for our customers to ensure they get what they need.”

BRS benefits growers through information and hard work. “For our shippers, we work to get as much money as the market will bear for the product,” said Milavsky. “We also try to move as much product as possible and find a home for everything. And, we help growers understand the needs and demands of the market can so they can grow what the market is asking for.”

Milavsky credits the BRS team for the company’s continued success. “Our crew works hard to continue to serve our customers with the best products and consistently,” he said. “We’ve been able to maintain the same team throughout the ups and downs of past years. And, in fact, my salesmen have stepped up to do more. They now do their own ordering and taking care of the items more. They’ve taken on more responsibility.”

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