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Progressive and Keystone announce merger

Progressive Produce LLC, a Los Angeles-based distributor of organic and conventional produce, and Keystone Fruit Marketing Inc., a Greencastle, PA-based marketer with an emphasis on sweet onions, announced the merger of the two companies.

Marty Kamer, president of Keystone, will now be an owner in the Progressive management interest controlled by President Jim Leimkuhler and vice presidents Victor Rodarte and Jack Gyben. Kamer will continue in his role as president of Keystone, a division of Progressive.

Keystone, founded in 1977, specializes in sweet onions, hybrid onions, asparagus, peaches, apples and watermelons with offices in Pennsylvania, Florida, Washington, Texas and California. Kamer has been president of the company since the untimely death of former President Kurt Schweitzer in February 2016.

“Our 50th anniversary is 2017 and our positive momentum will be accelerated by combining our successful business with another great business in Keystone,” Leimkuhler said in a press release. “Keystone is also a proud company with 40 years of growth, and brings quality brands, great people and geographic breadth to the growing Progressive family.

“We have compatible business values and we expect that the combination of our two companies will be very positive,” Leimkuhler added.

“We are already an international company with our Mayan Sweet Onion program from Peru and Mexico, plus our asparagus grower base and acreage in Peru adds an important dimension,” Kamer said in the press release. “We are excited about expanding our global footprint as part of Progressive and we anticipate future growth in our business in the coming years.”

The announcement comes a year to the day that Dublin-based Total Produce acquired a 65 percent interest in Progressive.

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