PLANT CITY, Fla. — Colorful Harvest LLC has added two salesmen as it expands its Florida strawberry acreage and introduces a new melon variety.
The Salinas, Calif.-based grower-shipper has brought in Jose Rossignoli as its director of sales and grower relations, a new position.
Casey Mills, who previously worked for Mills Family Farms, Salinas, with a field operations and sales background, joined Colorful Harvest as its business development manager.
Rossignoli formerly worked for Brooks Tropicals, Inc., Homestead, Fla., as its vice president of sales and director of national sales. He joined the grower-shipper in 2005 and worked as an assistant to president Neal “Pal” Brooks.
Rossignoli, who is relocating from Miami to work out of his Salinas home office, will work Colorful Harvest’s California and Florida deals.
Mills, who also recently worked as a Southern California account executive for TriCord Tradeshow Services, is relocating from the Palm Desert area to Salinas.
Though Doug Ranno, Colorful Harvest’s chief operating officer and managing partner, declined to state acreage, he said the company has increased its acreage in strawberries, blueberries and blackberries up to 40% in all of its growing regions, which are Salinas, Watsonville, Calif., Oxnard, Calif., Santa Maria, Calif., Plant City, and in the Michoacan region of Mexico.
Colorful Harvest has added a hami melon. The large Asian melon resembles giant dinosaur eggs and remains popular with Asians, Ranno said.
The addition of the specialty melon helps Colorful Harvest expand its melon acreage.
The melon is grown in the Imperial Valley, Bakersfield, Calif., and in its West Side deal in Mendota, Calif..
Ranno said the staff additions come as the grower-shipper increases its presence among retail and wholesale buyers.
“People are beginning to recognize us as one of those companies that is in the berry business year-round,” he said. “People are getting used to seeing the Colorful Harvest label 12 months out of the year.”
Ranno said Mills was hired to bring depth to Colorful Harvest’s team of business development managers and that his brings his Salinas Valley agricultural quality control and sales experience to the operation.
Rossignoli has experience working with senior level retail executives across the country and that his agricultural roots qualify him to communicate with growers around the globe and to facilitate national, year-round sourcing programs with retailers, wholesalers and food service companies, Ranno said.