Ayco Farms Inc., a grower, packer and importer, is expanding its reach.

Ayco Farms expandsThe Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based shipper of asparagus, small watermelon, baby vegetables and tropicals, is publicizing growth it says should help to better position the 11-year-old company, according to a July 13 news release.

Recent acquisitions, partnerships and the addition of new personnel are expanding Ayco’s capacity to distribute a large selection of fresh produce to retail and foodservice customers throughout the year, according to the release.

“Our focus is to continue investing in direct farming,“ Avi Nir, president, said in the release. “The most effective way we can reliably serve our customers into the future is to continue building our own farming organizations.”

As part of the diversification, Ayco made some purchases in Mexico and McAllen, Texas.

On June 1, it acquired farming operations in Mexico and named Jorge Del Toro general manager of Irapuato, Mexico-based Ayco Mexico. Del Toro remains responsible for building on Ayco’s grower base and developing company-owned farming organizations, according to the release.

Ayco is staffing a McAllen office it opened in June. Thomas “Sparky” Northcross is sales manager.

The Texas office allows Ayco to fully control logistics, Nir said in the release. The operation features refrigeration and quality control, food safety and traceability efforts.

Ayco recently constructed a 60,000 square-foot distribution center in Pompano Beach, Fla. The company also announced plans to import product into Houston, Gulfport, Miss., and Norfolk, Va., ports, launched a tropical line and expanded personal watermelon acreage to help close any production gaps.