It’s the first time Pandol Bros. has offered blueberries since the late 1980s, when the company took part in the Arkansas deal.
The program is expected to run year-round.
“After Chile we’ll go into Mexico and then we’ll be moving our way up the East Coast,” said John Pandol, director of special projects.
Greg Caveng, blueberry sales manager for Delano, Calif.-based Pandol Bros., will manage the product line from the company’s Gloucester, N.J., office. Caveng, previously with AMC Direct Inc., Glassboro, N.J., has been overseeing sales since June. He has 15 years of blueberry experience.
“He came on and put together the sourcing side of it,” Pandol said.
“In the 1980s we had a wide variety of commodities, then we went back in and focused,” he said. “After being focused on grapes for a long time, we wondered, is there expertise we can offer to other commodities and groups of growers? This opportunity came up so we said ‘OK, this is worth trying.’”
Pandol Bros. expects to benefit from its logistics, foreign trade and marketing experience with grapes and other fruits as it adds blueberries, Pandol said.
Besides table grapes and blueberries, the company offers California persimmons, Chilean stone fruit and cherries and a range of fruit for the Far East.