Business updates: Twin Cities - The Packer

Business updates: Twin Cities

05/21/2010 02:53:17 PM
Ashley Bentley

Fernandez joined the company in March to head up food safety, said Phillip Brooks, chief executive officer of the New Brighton, Minn.-based company.

H. Brooks moved into a new facility in April of 2001 that was set up for improved food safety practices.

The company has since installed new equipment and technology to improve its food safety and traceability, and wanted to bring on a staff member to oversee its capabilities, Brooks said.

The company’s director of foodservice sales, Nina Brooks, was also honored this year by being accepted to the United Fresh Produce Association’s Leadership Program. She is set to graduate from the program in 2011.

Minnesota Produce Inc. enters banana business

Minneapolis-based Minnesota Produce Inc. is selling bananas for the first time.

“We’ve started to sell a handful of Del Monte bananas,” said Paul Piazza Sr., president. “This company’s never sold a banana in its 50-year history.”

Bananas were an ideal commodity to break into because Minnesota Produce doesn’t have to worry about the logistics, Piazza said.

“They can get us out of Chicago overnight,” Piazza said. “We don’t have to worry about transportation.”

The company is looking for new things to sell to further diversify its product offerings, he said.

C.H. Robinson supports Race for the Cure

Eden Prairie, Minn.-based C.H. Robinson is continuing its charitable work with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this year.

The company donated $126,000 to breast cancer research in 2009 through its Pink Ribbon Watermelon program, said Jim Lemke, senior vice president of sourcing.

At a Race for the Cure event May 8, the company passed out fresh-cut watermelon. It plans to do the same at a three-day national event later this summer.

Albert’s Organics looks to expand, update

Bridgeport, N.J.-based Albert’s Organics is looking to make some changes to its Mounds View, Minn., distribution facility.

The organic supplier and distributor is reviewing its needs for banana ripening capacity, as well as looking at adding on new refrigeration and freezer space, said Simcha Weinstein, marketing director.

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