Desert Produce business update briefs - The Packer

Desert Produce business update briefs

04/26/2012 11:12:00 AM
Tom Burfield

Anthony Vineyards adds cold storage rooms

Bakersfield, Calif.-based Anthony Vineyards has expanded its Bakersfield facility, adding two cold rooms for storage to accommodate late grapes, said co-owner Robert Bianco.

The northern grape program has gotten to be a six-month deal, he said.

The company will start its Coachella Valley deal the first week of May or earlier, he said.

Bagdasarian adds GTIN numbers to products

Richard Bagdasarian Inc., Mecca, Calif., is using GS1 Global Trade Item Numbers for the first time this year, said Franz De Klotz, vice president of marketing.

The numbers will be used on all of the company’s products in response to requests from retail partners seeking improved traceback capabilities.

The firms’ lemons, marketed by Sunkist Growers Inc., were the first item the company shipped with GTIN numbers.

Five Crowns launches Facebook page

Five Crowns Marketing, Brawley, Calif., has launched a Facebook Page in an effort to keep in touch with its customers, said Daren Van Dyke, director of sales and marketing.

The company also is building a website, which it plans to launch in October. The firm already partners with Prima Bella Produce Inc. in Tracy, Calif., which is revamping its website, primabellaproduce.com.

Five Crowns Marketing also recently launched a 2.2 megawatt photovoltaic system. It was installed by the renewable energy division of Swinerton Inc., San Francisco, in less than three months.

About 10% of the system’s solar cells are on the roof of the firm’s cooling facility, and the others are on fixed racks on the ground.

Peter Rabbit Farms turns to solar energy

Peter Rabbit Farms, Coachella, Calif., is in the process of installing a 333-kilowatt solar energy project that should be completed in late May, said John Burton, general manager of sales and cooler.

The project should handle at least half of the facility’s energy needs.

“We pride ourselves in doing things efficiently, but this also helps the environment,” Burton said.

The system is being installed by San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based REC Solar Inc.

The company also has hired Pablo Molina to fill the newly created position of director of food safety. Molina previously owned his own business. Attention to food safety is becoming the norm for the industry, Burton said.

“It’s not just an afterthought, it has to be the first, most important thing we do each day.”

Stevco expands Coachella grape acreage

Los Angeles-based Stevco Inc. will have more grapes, especially the scarlet royal variety, in the Coachella Valley over the next few years, said president Dave Clyde.

The company will plant an additional 160 acres over the next three years, which will boost volume from 500,000 boxes to as many as 750,000 boxes by 2015, Clyde said.



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