2013 Year in Produce Farewells - The Packer

2013 Year in Produce Farewells

01/08/2014 10:39:00 AM
Dan Galbraith

Ikeda Bros. produces napa cabbage, bok choy, lettuce, broccoli, celery, bell peppers and other items.

Services were Feb. 16.


Albert Surabian

Citrus grower and packer Albert Surabian has died Feb. 16 at his home in Dinuba, Calif. He was 100.

Surabian headed operations at Dinuba-based S. Surabian & Sons Packing Co. from the mid-1960s with his son Sam Surabian II, and later also with another son, Albert E. Surabian.

“He never did retire,” Albert E. Surabian said. “He was a farmer all his life. He worked well up into his 80s.”

Albert Surabian began his career in the family farming operation with his father, Sam Surabian, and his brother Edward Surabian. Later the brothers grew table grapes in Litchfield Park, Ariz. Albert retained the California operations after their father’s death.

About 11 years ago, S. Surabian & Sons Packing converted its growing, packing and shipping operations from stone fruit to citrus.

Surabian collaborated with the city of Dinuba on development of the Surabian Industrial Park, where Ruiz Foods became the anchor business. The Dinuba Chamber of Commerce named him Citizen of the Year in 2005.

Besides his two sons, survivors include three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Leonard Veri

The president of Exeter Produce & Storage Co. Ltd., Leonard Veri, 76, died March 1 while vacationing in Asia. He had led the Exeter, Ontario, company for 55 years at the time of his death.

Veri’s family business is in its fourth generation of growing field and greenhouse vegetables. Since its beginning in 1951, the company’s field operation has grown to more than 4,000 acres. In recent years the family expanded into the greenhouse industry, building a 25-acre glass facility.

Produce from the field and greenhouse operations is marketed under the Veri Fine brand in Canada, the U.S. and the Caribbean, the company website states.

The firm relocated its bell pepper line to a new facility in December. The expansion allows for a production increase from 3,700 tons to 5,000 tons annually.

Survivors include his wife, Noel; two sons, Jim and Michael; and a daughter, Michele.


Heriberto Armando Borboa Lopez

The president of the Sinaloa, Mexico-based grower group CAADES has died.

Heriberto Armando Borboa Lopez died March 6 in Sinaloa, said Allison Moore, communications director of the Nogales, Ariz.-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas. He was 50.

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