Andrew & Williamson adds salesman
San Diego-based Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce has hired Ramon Angel, most recently with Charlotte, N.C.-based Chiquita Brands International Inc., as salesman for the berry division, said Chad Dvorak, director of sales for the berry division. Angel will handle strategic sales with Dvorak and manage current and new accounts.
The company expects to ship 13 million trays of conventional strawberries from Mexico and the U.S. this season, up slightly from last year. The company also expects to ship 1.5 million cases of organic berries this year, up 30% from last year. The firm also plans to add an organic raspberry program out of Baja California in the fall.
CBS Farms launches Oxnard organic deal
CBS Farms, Watsonville, Calif., has planted organic strawberries in the Oxnard, Calif., growing district for the first time, said Charlie Staka, director of sales.
The new program complements the company’s existing one in Watsonville, which has been growing every year, and enables the firm to offer organic strawberries year-round. CBS Farms has offered organic strawberries for eight years.
Driscoll’s expands social media campaign
Driscoll Strawberry Associates Inc., Watsonville, Calif., is using social media campaigns to open opportunities to reach its core berry consumers, said Frances Dillard, director of marketing.
“The engagement is a two-way street, which allows us to talk about things like our current 3 p.m. snack campaign built around our blueberries or a very special strawberry program we’re planning for the spring,” she said. “It is a marketer’s dream to have consumers lead the conversation — it’s like having a focus group of millions ready reacting 24/7 all year.”
Naturipe introduces bouquet pack
Estero, Fla.-based Naturipe Farms has a new “bouquet pack” of premium long-stem strawberries that are packaged in a pattern similar to roses, said Janis McIntosh, marketing manager.
Naturipe is a full-line shipper, offering strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries 12 months of the year.
Oppenheimer adds California berries
For the first time, Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group is shipping strawberries under the Oppy label out of Oxnard and Coachella, Calif., according to a news release.
The company began sourcing conventional berries from the Golden State in January and plans to start shipping organic berries in February.
The California fruit complements Oppenheimer’s Mexican strawberry and blackberry programs, berry category director Nolan Quinn said in the release, and can tie in promotionally with the firm’s import and domestic blueberry supplies. The California deal will about double the company’s annual berry volume, he said.
Oppenheimer’s berry category includes blueberries from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay; strawberries from the U.S. and Mexico; blackberries from Mexico and Guatemala; and cranberries from the U.S. and Canada.
Orange County Produce increases crop
Orange County Produce LLC, Irvine, Calif., had a summer planting of 200 acres of strawberries in September for the first time, said partner Matt Kawamura.
The program turned out to be successful, he said. The company may add a summer planting in the Santa Maria district next season, “just to have more uniform volume from Sept into May.” In all, the company plans 1,000 acres of California strawberries this season in Oxnard and Orange County.
Also at Orange County Produce, Kawamura’s son, Paul Kawamura, now is a strawberry salesman for the company. Paul Kawamura has been with the company for four years working with the accounting department.
Red Blossom gives website a new look
Red Blossom Sales Inc., Salinas, Calif., has revamped its website — redblossom.com — said Michelle Deleissegues, marketing director.
In January, the company put up three pages geared toward Valentine’s Day.
“Previously our website was more focused on the business end, targeting a trade audience,” Deleissegues said.
Success Valley trims its carbon footprint
Success Valley Produce LLC, Oxnard, Calif., is beginning the second year of its eight-down pallet configuration, said Backus Nahas, a son of owner Jim Nahas.
“We took the eight-down unit that everybody has been using in the 2-pounders and 4-pounders, and we added a 1-pounder and a 3-pounder to it,” he said.
Now all of the company’s strawberry pack styles fit in one box, he said.
The format allows the company to load 30% more in each truck and takes the equivalent of about 400 trucks off the road each season, he said.
In addition, the clamshells the firm uses are made from 100% recycled PET.