Salinas, Calif.-based Growers Express LLC has taken over marketing operations at Frisco Farms and is ironing out details of a partnership stake for Merrill Farms.
Formed in 2009, Frisco Farms shipped produce for Salinas-based Merrill Farms, which used the Frisco Farms label until the mid-1990s.
“We started shipping through Growers Express on June 4,” said Ross Merrill, owner of Merrill Farms. “We’re operating under a marketing agreement during the transition period, but ultimately it will end up being a partnership interest in Growers.”
Growers Express did not immediately return calls.
“It’s just a great fit for both of us,” Merrill said. “Merrill Farms gets another important, competent shipper. We’re already doing substantial business with Dole, Driscoll’s and others.”
The majority of the vegetable crops involved now ship under Growers Express’ Green Giant Fresh label, Merrill said.
“Going under a strong, nationally recognized brand is one of the attractions,” he said. “What Growers gets out of it is our land base and our crop spectrum. It’s a great complement to where they want to take their program.”
Merrill Farms spreads its growing operations across much of the Salinas Valley, from the Blanco Road area in Salinas to south of Soledad. The company grows leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, specialty vegetables and strawberries.