Former Sunny Cove executive joins Flavor Tree

01/05/2010 04:09:44 PM
Don Schrack

Keith Wilson, who was vice president of sales and marketing for Sunny Cove Citrus LLC, Orange Cove, Calif., has joined the new marketing firm, Flavor Tree Fruit Co., Hanford, Calif., as national retail sales manager.

Early in his career, Wilson spent nearly 20 years — the last eight years as produce director — with A&P Supermarkets, a division of The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co., Montvale, N.J.

“I was looking for that complimentary experience, someone with good insight into retail produce distribution,” said Maurice Cameron, presidient of Flavor Tree Fruit. “Keith’s experience will help us develop a national domestic strategy.”

Wilson is the first addition to Flavor Tree Fruit’s marketing staff, “but there will be more announcements in the near future,” Cameron said.

The company, a partnership between Warmerdam Packing LLC, Hanford, and Cameron, was launched in October. Cameron had been for nine years export sales manager for Trinity Fruit Sales Co., Fresno.

Flavor Tree Fruit is projected to market about 2 million cartons of cherries and stone fruit this year, Cameron said.

“That’s what I like about the company,” Wilson said. “They’re very progressive here, and they have such an exciting line up.”

Among the offerings this year for Flavor Tree Fruits will be a second proprietary cherry variety, Yosemite, Cameron said. The company’s other proprietary variety is the Sequoia cherry.

The Yosemite designation surfaced in 2009 when Cameron forwarded samples to cherry importers worldwide and asked for a suggested name. The submission that stuck, he said, came from an importer in Spaulding, England.

Yosemite cherries will be harvested between the early season Sequoia and late season bing harvests, Cameron said.

Wilson’s nearly 30 years in the fresh produce industry includes positions with Sure Fine Food Corp., Evansville, Ind., and two other California-based grower-shippers, Sunkist Growers Inc., Sherman Oaks, and the HMC Group Marketing Inc., Kingsburg.

Sunny Cove Citrus shut down last September when the packinghouse was purchased by Booth Ranches LLC, Orange Cove. The company did not retain any of the marketing or management staffs.

(Note on correction: In the original version of the story, the titles for Cameron and Wilson were incorrect.)



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