Supply deal to help online distributor expand into produce

10/14/2013 02:57:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

New land and a supply partnership with an organics importer should help an online organic foods distributor enter living produce and expand into additional produce offerings.

Green PolkaDot Box In mid-October, Green PolkaDot Box LLC broke ground on 40 acres in central Utah to grow kale, spinach and other leafy greens that it plans to distribute as living produce grown in greenhouses using vertical aeroponic technology.

The Mount Pleasant, Utah-based online membership club plans to increase its product offerings through a contract it recently entered into with Key Biscayne, Fla.-based Fresh Organics LLC, a part of Holland-based Unifresh LLC.

Through the 10-year contract, Fresh Organics plans to supply Green PolkaDot tropicals and other fruits and vegetables Green PolkaDot cannot grow itself, said Cheryl Forester, public relations and media manager.

“They’ve been in that space for some time and have the freshest quality we’ve found,” she said. “Our goal is to eliminate food deserts. Demand for organics has gone up but there are places in the U.S. where you can’t get organic produce. Now it doesn’t matter if you don’t have it locally as we can ship it in the same amount of time.”

UnifreshGreen PolkaDot’s online offerings are primarily frozen and processed produce.

The deal with Fresh Organics and the planned addition of farms in Texas, Florida and the Northeast — expected to begin production by late 2015 — should help it better serve its customers and expand into other fresh produce items, Forester said.

It markets its products under its Living Produce brand and expects to begin its first harvest from the Utah site in January, she said.

Marc Meurs, Fresh Organics’ co-owner, said the deal, expected to generate $16 million in revenues, should help growing demand for wholesale-priced organic and non-GMO natural foods that Green PolkaDot sells.

“They have a growing member base but they need the volume of a distributor, especially internationally,” he said. “This has huge potential. People are very conscious about what they eat.”

Green PolkaDot also plans to add bell peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes.



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