(UPDATED COVERAGE, Nov. 22) UPDATED: Fresh-cut veteran heads Taylor Farms’ Florida operationLeonard Batti, a produce and fresh-cut produce industry veteran of more than 30 years, is now president of Taylor Fresh Foods Inc.’s Florida operations in Orlando.

Batti joins the subsidiary of Salinas, Calif.-based Taylor Fresh Foods after working numerous positions in the produce industry.

Batti said it is good to work again with Bruce Taylor, Taylor Farms’ chairman and chief executive officer.

During the mid-1980s, the two worked at Fresh Express Inc., in Salinas, which was then called FreshCo.

“This company (Taylor Farms) is as good as it gets in our industry,” Batti said. “Bruce Taylor has really set the standard for running a top-notch company. I think the future is extremely bright both for the fresh-cut category and for Taylor Farms.”

UPDATED: Fresh-cut veteran heads Taylor Farms’ Florida operationHolding senior management positions since 1989, he was also vice president of operations for Dole Food Co. Inc., Westlake Village, Calif., director of farm operations for Fresh Express Inc. in Salinas, Calif., vice president of operations and product development for Salinas-based Tanimura & Antle Inc., senior vice president of operations for Guadalupe, Calif.-based Apio Inc., and vice president of production and processing for Salinas-based NewStar Fresh Foods.

Most recently, Batti was a managing and senior partner with the Glendale, Calif.-based Mixtec Group and helped open a Salinas office for the produce industry recruitment firm.

He has also advised the industry’s senior management including serving on the board of the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association, was chairman of PMA’s foodservice board, served on its Foundation for Industry Talent board, and was on the board of the former International Fresh-cut Produce Association in Alexandria, Va.

Taylor Farms Florida produces fresh-cut product for retail and foodservice customers throughout Florida, south Georgia and the Caribbean.