Having facilities in Dinuba as well as Lodi from which to ship also improves Rivermaid Trading’s logistics offerings, said Mike Isola, sales and marketing.
“With the packing facility in the north and the tree fruit in the south, we’ll be able to consolidate shipments for customers,” he said. “With trucking getting more and more difficult, it’s something we’ll be able to offer. Basically, it’s one-stop shopping.”
Archibeque admitted Rivermaid’s strengths have been in cherries and pears. That’s why the firm put together a team of stone fruit experts based in Dinuba to manage stone fruit production, packing and shipping.
“We don’t want retailers to think, ‘Your sales office is primarily located in Lodi. How do you know what’s going on in stone fruit production?’”
One of the attractions with the Farmington Fresh deal was the Stockton firm’s heavy presence in south San Joaquin Valley cherries, Archibeque said.
“So they really complement Rivermaid Trading because our strength is in the northern San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento County area,” he said of cherry production. “And more importantly, it allows us to have a more significant presence out there with our retail partners earlier in the season.”
The south San Joaquin Valley cherry crop typically matures earlier than the northern regions.
The Farmington Fresh deal also provides a second packing facility to help accommodate overflow volumes during the peak of harvest, Archibeque said.
“When incoming production exceeds our capacity to pack, we plan to have Farmington Fresh pack that excess,” he said. “In the past, we have made other arrangements.”