Florida Strawberries Business Updates - The Packer

Florida Strawberries Business Updates

01/08/2014 11:36:00 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

Florida Strawberries Business Updates:

Colorful Harvest adds salesman,expands coolers

Colorful Harvest LLC, Salinas, Calif., added Rick Michels, a retail and produce sales veteran, as its business development manager for its Florida division in Plant City, Fla.

MichelsMichelsMichels has been in produce sales for more than 20 years. He previously worked at William Manis Co. Produce Marketing in Plant City for nine years and was a produce buyer for Meijer Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich.; Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., Jacksonville, Fla.; and Dominick’s Finer Foods Inc., Oak Brook, Ill.

He also worked in sales for The Tobi Co. Inc., Tampa, Fla.

“The value Rick brings to us is being on the retail buying desk for years,” said Jeremy Burris, Colorful Harvest’s Florida division vice president of sales and sourcing.

“Before, he was buying and selling the product, but he now has direct access to the product. The customer base he sends us will be good for us as growers.”

In other news, Colorful Harvest remodeled its Florida refrigeration and expanded its Florida acreage.

Although Burris declined to disclose cooler capacity or acreage, he said the facility improvements double the company’s cooling capacity, and the grower-shipper expanded its acreage by up to 20%.


Driscoll’s increases acreage to boost Florida supply

Driscoll Strawberry Associates Inc., has expanded its Florida strawberry production.

This season, the Watsonville, Calif.-based Driscoll’s, which packs from its Dover, Fla., operation, increased acreage by 10%.

Mark Greeff, vice president and general manager of Driscoll’s Eastern region, declined to state the amount of acres the grower-shipper grows and packs from through its own acreage or growers’ acreage.

“We see Florida as an important window of supply for our fruit,” he said. “Florida has great potential for the future and the ability to produce good quality fruit in the U.S. that can fit into our supply plans for the Eastern Seaboard.”


Gulf Coast Produce installs pair of precoolers

Gulf Coast Produce Inc., has added two precoolers.

The precoolers join the Dover, Fla.-based grower-shipper’s five other coolers and each of the two coolers allow it to handle 16 pallets, providing a total capacity of 92 pallets, said Steve Machell, sales manager.

The additions should help reduce pressure on Gulf Coast during heavy volume days as well as help retailers eliminate shrink, he said.

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