Thanks to the Yuma program, the company now can begin shipping around May 20, two weeks earlier than before.
The firm hopes to continue to ship melons through mid-November, weather permitting, he said. The new westside deal should add 1 million cartons of cantaloupes and honeydews to Pura Vida’s volume.
The company also has hired a participant in the Produce Marketing Association’s Foundation for Industry Talent program to work in its Arizona office, Liefer said. Yulia Kalina was a student at Arizona State University.
Produce Innovations launched as consultant
Dean Simon, previously president of Los Angeles-based Harvest Sensations, has launched a consulting venture — Produce Innovations, Villa Park, Calif.
The company will focus on two aspects of the industry. Simon is working with school districts and suppliers, including Adams Produce Co. Inc., Birmingham, Ala., to help them meet the criteria of the Healthier U.S. School Challenge initiative, primarily in the Southeast.
He also is working with local farmers primarily in the Southeast to enable them to sell their product more profitably through large produce distributors without having to deal with the increasing hassles of local farmers markets.
He said he will help growers get food safety certified and try to set up programs with local schools and chefs.
Progressive Produce hires safety manager
Progressive Produce Corp., Los Angeles, has hired a food safety manager, said Jack Gyben, vice president of marketing.
The company has named Sandra Castanon, previously with LoBue Bros. Inc., Lindsay, Calif., as food safety manager responsible for all four of Progressive’s operations.
Ready Pac Foods adds salads, fruit parfaits
Irwindale, Calif.-based Ready Pac Foods Inc. has added three Special Selections flavors for summer to its Bistro Bowl line of single-serve salads, said Ali Leon, senior director of strategic business development.
The new flavors include cherry almond crunch, smoky barbecue ranch and spinach dijon. Ready Pac also offers five flavors of Fresh Fruit Parfaits! — blueberry, apple, mango, apple mango and pineapple.
All are made with fresh fruit, low-fat vanilla yogurt and crunchy granola in a proprietary package designed to keep the components separate, Leon said.
Tavilla Sales Co. hires sales assistant
Chris de Lorimier, most recently with HOWS Markets LLC, Pasadena, Calif., has joined Tavilla Sales Co. of Los Angeles as a sales assistant to Nancy Betancourt, national sales manager, said president Bill Vogel.