Recent restructuring at importer Nathel International created two new positions and refocused the company on increasing volumes — particularly in citrus.
“We don’t want to bite off more than we can handle,” said Dirk Winkelmann, the new director of global procurement for Nathel International, Pittsgrove, N.J.
“We are getting more involved in direct imports ... but we are putting the brakes on a little to make sure we are doing it right.”
Earlier this year Nathel International began its restructuring by creating a management position for Paul Newstead, who had been previously worked as a salesman. His new position is director and vice president of sales and marketing.
Newstead has 19 years experience in fresh produce, including nine years in sales for Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima, Wash.
Winkelmann has about 25 years experience in the industry. Before joining Nathel, he worked for Frupac, Chiquita Frupac, Vangard International, Sun World, Safco of America and Pacific Trellis.
In the new position of director of global procurement, Winkelmann is charged with a variety of, including general management, sales, sourcing and grower relations.
“One thing we are looking at is expanding sourcing to include Spain, Morocco, New Zealand and Brazil,” Winkelmann said July 25.
Nathel International is only in its third year. Winkelmann said its apple and pear programs are particularly strong. The company handled 150,000 cartons of apples from Chile this year.
Grapes from Chile and Peru are also proving successful for Nathel, Winkelmann said. Last year the company moved 400,000 cartons of grapes combined from the two Latin American countries. This year the volume has almost doubled, to 700,000 cartons.
Citrus is the next frontier for Winkelmann and Newstead. So-called easy-peelers and navel oranges are scheduled for increased volumes. Nathel also seeks to increase its participation with pomegranates and cherries.