Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Central American Produce Inc. is opening a West Coast office led by John Meert, said president Michael Warren.
The office will carry Central American’s full product line, and opened for business the week of Oct. 29 with imports of mangoes and pineapples, he said.
“I’ve been working with him directly and indirectly for the past 15 years,” Warren said. “He’s well-connected with everyone in the industry.”
Meert said he’s been in the produce business for about 25 years.
Coast Tropical, part of San Diego-based Coast Citrus Distributors Inc., plans to open an 80,000-square-foot cold storage and distribution facility in Union City, Calif., southeast of San Francisco, said vice president and chief executive officer Isabel Freeland.
The facility has four acres of adjoining land for future expansion, Freeland said, and the new space will handle the company’s complete line of tropicals.
Coast Tropical is also increasing its mango volume and now has a complete root line from Coast Rica, Freeland said.
Dave’s Specialty Imports
Coral Springs, Fla.-based Dave’s Specialty Imports has added strawberries from Mexico to its product lineup and hopes to expand to year-round strawberry supplies from Mexico and Florida, said vice president Mike Bowe.
“Strawberries are a great complement to our other berries,” marketing manager Leslie Simmons said.
The company is also looking at adding Chilean grapes from one of its blueberry growers, pears from Argentina and cherries from Chile, Bowe said.
Dispute Resolution Corp.
Members of the Fruit & Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corp., Ottawa, Ontario, were among other industry leaders who presented final recommendations to Canadian and U.S. government representatives on a Canadian trust similar to the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.
Luc Mougeot, vice president of DRC, said the meeting was in the Los Angeles area before Fresh Summit and was the latest step in establishing in Canada a system that would protect produce sellers there against losses in dealings with insolvent buyers.
He said the group gave specific steps to Canadian officials to follow in establishing such a program.
The Canadian government promised to have an answer by March, Mougeot said.
Farmer’s Best International
In response to customer requests, Farmer’s Best International LLC plans to add tomatoes-on-the vine and European cucumbers to its product line in December, said Jerry Wagner, director of sales and marketing.