Attending a North American retail tour of Chile were (from left) Fernando Balart, marketing manager for USA/Latin America for ASOEX ; Andres Armstrong, general manager for the Chilean Blueberry Committee; Tom Tjerandsen, managing director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association; Melissa Heinrich, produce director for Wal-Mart; Randy Brittain, procurement director for the Military Produce Group; Dave Rhodes, produce operations director for Marsh; Alejandra Contreras, vendor development manager for Loblaw's; Nick Penry, produce marketing and operations manager for Federates Co-operatives Limited; and Marcus Vincent, commodities buyer for Safeway.
Attending a North American retail tour of Chile were (from left) Fernando Balart, marketing manager for USA/Latin America for ASOEX ; Andres Armstrong, general manager for the Chilean Blueberry Committee; Tom Tjerandsen, managing director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association; Melissa Heinrich, produce director for Wal-Mart; Randy Brittain, procurement director for the Military Produce Group; Dave Rhodes, produce operations director for Marsh; Alejandra Contreras, vendor development manager for Loblaw's; Nick Penry, produce marketing and operations manager for Federates Co-operatives Limited; and Marcus Vincent, commodities buyer for Safeway.

U.S. and Canadian produce retailers toured Chile in late January to learn more about the country’s fresh produce operations.

Managers from Wal-Mart, Safeway and other top retailers visited orchards, vineyards, packing facilities, fruit inspection sites and Chile’s main port of Valparaiso, according to a news release from the Sonoma, Calif.-based Chilean Fresh Fruit Association.

The tour was organized by the association and ProChile, Chile’s trade commission. Chilean blueberry industry members served as co-hosts.

Participants in the tour included:

  • Melissa Heinrich, produce director, Wal-Mart;
  • Randy Brittain, procurement director, the Military Produce Group;
  • Dave Rhodes, produce operations director, Marsh Supermarkets;
  • Alejandra Contreras, vendor development manager, Loblaw’s;
  • Nick Penry, produce marketing and operations manager, Federates Co-operatives Limited; and
  • Marcus Vincent, commodities buyer, Safeway.