Twin Cities Know Your Market business update briefs

05/21/2012 02:32:00 PM
Tom Burfield

The company also has improved its romaine processing line and added new packaging equipment that should result in safer, higher-quality product with longer shelf life for its tomatoes, watermelons and fresh-cut products.

G.O. Fresh also is looking some new equipment that will enable the company to introduce new packaging options for foodservice customers and plans to introduce some new products, including salad blends and romaine salads, Beckman said.

J&J Distributing to add greenhouse, hires quality assurance director

J&J Distributing Co., St. Paul, Minn., has hired a new quality assurance director and added some new equipment.

Teresa Olson, most recently with Faribault Foods Inc., Faribault, Minn., is the firm’s newly named quality assurance director, said Kevin Hannigan, executive vice president.

The firm also has added some equipment from Turatti, an Italian-based company, that gives J&J Distributing the capacity to process more than 100,000 pounds of product per day, he said.

The company is adding a 38,000-square-foot greenhouse at its St. Paul location and is pushing “tower gardens,” a consumer-oriented product that enables people to grow items like herbs and tomatoes on their home patios.

Wescott Agri Products offers Honeycrisps year-round

Wescott Agri Products Inc., Elgin, Minn., now has a fresh Chilean Honeycrisp apple deal, said Don Roper, vice president of sales and marketing.

With the South American program and regional and Washington state programs, the company now can offer Honeycrisps year-round, he said.

The firm also has implemented sustainability initiatives focused around “minimal environmental impact with farming, optimizing food miles and optimizing energy usage at our production plants,” Roper said.

The program is part of the company’s TruEarth agricultural protocol, part of which was developed by the IPM Institute of North America, Madison, Wis.

The company is working with growers to have orchards TruEarth certified, Roper said.

Wescott also is involved with new varietal development to improve and upgrade local apple varieties.


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