The long road out of bankruptcy appeared near an end for Sun World International Inc. in Bakersfield, CA, with the announcement that the company was scheduled to go on the auction block Jan. 13 with at least three bidders showing strong interest in acquiring the company. The Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday, Jan. 12, that "an auction for the business, which generates $120 million in annual revenue, will be held Thursday [Jan. 13], subject to approval of a bankruptcy judge on Friday."
Rosemont Farms, a vegetable grower-shipper located in Boca Raton, FL, acquired the assets of J.W. Hunt in Plant City, FL, in a move that will give Rosemont a much-coveted presence in the Plant City area and will keep active one of the more respected brands in Florida produce " particularly strawberries. Included in the transaction are all assets of J.W. Hunt, including a 65,000-square-foot refrigerated building located in Plant City. The purchase agreement was signed in early December; terms were not disclosed.
The National Onion Association, based in Greeley, CO, announced that Kim Reddin has been selected to direct the association?s onion promotion and membership efforts. Ms. Reddin officially began her duties on Dec. 20. She replaces Tanya Fell, who left the association in the fall for a position as vice president of the Texas Produce Association.
WASHINGTON " Consumers will need to nearly double their daily consumption of fruits and vegetables to meet the new Dietary Guidelines, which in turn will form the blueprint for a host of federal agriculture policies and the yet-to-be-released revised food pyramid.
WASHINGTON " In a long-awaited report released Jan. 11, the National Academy of Sciences concluded that people can safely tolerate more perchlorate " a chemical that has leached into milk, food and water supplies in trace amounts " than the Environmental Protection Agency had thought was safe.
California Giant announced that Anthony Gallino has been promoted to vice president of sales. Previously sales manager for all fresh berries, and now beginning his 11th year with the company, Mr. Gallino has witnessed tremendous change and growth at California Giant.
The Southeast Produce Council has announced a number of details " including the selection of a keynoter and workshop speakers as well as the venues for the field tours " for its next retail conference, just about two months away.
The council?s second annual Retail & Foodservice Conference, to be held March 10-12 at the Tampa Bay (FL) Convention Center, will kick off Thursday evening, March 10 with a gala opening reception and dinner at the Radisson Riverwalk Hotel.
The Cole brothers, Pete, 25, and Eric, 28, have all the supply angles covered for Rosemont Farms Corp. in Boca Raton, FL. Pete is a quality-control inspector. "Bird-dog is what they call us in the industry." As for Eric, "Currently I work in sales and I manage the inventory for the warehouses in North Carolina." He focuses on Eastern vegetables. Although he handles some sales duties, "mostly buying and managing the inventory is my main focus."
WAPATO, WA " Pride Packing Co. announced earlier this month the appointment of Steve Phipps as national director of sales and marketing. He brings over 25 years of industry experience and has worked for companies in Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma and Minnesota. Most recently, he served in the same capacity for NationFresh, an affiliate of Pride Packing?s parent company, United Salad Co.
PHILADELPHIA " John Vena Inc. announced the addition of a new warehouse operations manager to oversee its recently purchased facility on Galloway Street. Joseph Aquilino has extensive experience in all aspects of produce operations management. ?Joe will develop this operation from the ground up," said John Vena, president of John Vena Inc. "We are confident that Joe has the expertise to pilot our new enterprise in the right direction."