Florida, Canadian growers form shipping operation - The Packer

Florida, Canadian growers form shipping operation

10/11/2012 02:00:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Two veteran sweet corn salesmen are partnering with a Canadian grower-shipper to form an operation specializing in south Florida vegetables.

Scotlynn SweetpaScott Biddle, owner of Scotlynn Investments, Vittoria, Ontario; Bryan Biederman, former assistant sales manager for Belle Glade, Fla.-based Pioneer Growers Co-op; and J.D. Poole, Pioneer’s former vice president and sales manager, formed South Bay, Fla.-based Scotlynn Sweet Pac Growers LLC.

Scotlynn Sweet Pac plans to grow, pack and sell sweet corn, green beans, cabbage and leafy green vegetables for Georgia and Florida growers and trade other vegetables including bell peppers, cucumbers and squash, Biederman said.

Scott BiddleBiddleIn October, Scotlynn Sweet Pac was selling corn from one of its Bainbridge, Ga., growers.

While Scotlynn Sweet Pac plans to operate from its partner growers’ and packers’ facilities, the operation is planning to pack from an existing building it has secured in South Bay, Biederman said.

Though Biederman declined to state details, he said he expects the facility to become operational in January as Homestead, Fla., winter corn harvesting begins.

Biederman also declined to state acreage and potential volume, but said Scotlynn Sweet Pac is lining up growers and said the operation should complement the efforts of Biddle, one of Ontario’s largest corn grower-shippers.

Bryan BiedermanBiedermanScotlynn Sweet Pac plans to pack and market corn from south Florida, Georgia, New York and Canada, he said.

“He (Biddle) is a businessman who needs a presence in the U.S.,” Biederman said. “We are going to supply that presence in the Southeast for him. We will look to expand across the country in the years to come.”

Owner of the Scotlynn Group, which owns Scotlynn Commodities, grows and ships corn, watermelons, pumpkins and asparagus, Biddle has been involved with the south Florida deal since 2004 in growing and partnering with growers and packers.

“This will help us control things right from the field to the final destination of our customers,” Biddle said. “It will solidify everything from all the different stages, from field to fork.”

J.D. PoolePooleBiddle said Biederman and Poole bring a wealth of local knowledge to the operation which is separate from the Scotlynn Group.

A Belle Glade native, Poole started at Pioneer in 1986, working in the packinghouse but quickly advancing to sales where he served as vice president and sales manager a majority of his time there.

“Bryan and I plan to take the knowledge we’ve both gained over the years and apply that to the industry,” Poole said.

A 15-year food and beverage industry veteran, Biederman worked in hotel management in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., before joining Pioneer in 2005 where he began in sales.

Biederman and Poole said leaving Pioneer was a difficult decision but said they couldn’t pass on the opportunity to work on their own.



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