Asparagus business update briefs

04/05/2012 02:39:00 PM
Cynthia David

Crystal Valley Foods opens Miami facility  

Miami-based Crystal Valley Foods has a new facility in Miami, said owner Jay Rodriguez.

The facility offers 18 loading doors for better customer service loading and unloading, he said.

Crystal Valley also is opening a facility just off the Los Angeles market for its Mexican and Peruvian asparagus and Guatemalan beans and peas, he said.

Keystone Fruit expands into Northeast U.S.

Greencastle, Pa.-based Keystone Fruit Marketing, Inc. is expanding its distribution into the Northeast by offering forward distributing for its less-than-truckload customers.

“We’re doing forward distributing for our Mexican product for the first time,” said Tracy Wood, sales/manager of Keystone’s southeastern office, “and we expect to continue doing it from all growing regions.”

Keystone has a distribution base out of the Yuma and Nogales, Ariz., areas. The company also distributes out of Los Angeles.

Maurice A. Auerbach moves into facility

South Hackensack, N.J.-based Maurice A. Auerbach Inc. has plenty of ideas for its new facility in Secaucus, N.J., which the company moved into at the end of December.

“There are a lot of things on the drawing board since we’ve doubled the size of our facility and probably quadrupled the size of our refrigerated storage,” said marketing director Bruce Klein.

The 60,000-square-foot facility, with 45,000 square feet of refrigerated space, is designed to protect the cold chain from the time fresh produce travels from the truck to the loading dock, into the coolers and on its final trip to customers, Klein said.

Plans for the new facility may include a bagging operation for retail customers, and Klein said more and more customers are asking about local asparagus in addition to California and Washington.

Gourmet Trading Co. to install grader, sorter

Los Angeles-based Gourmet Trading Co. is installing a grading, sorting, and weighing line for the 2012 Washington season.

“We hope with this line we will be able to increase efficiencies while giving our customers a better pack and our growers more return,” said marketing manager Julie Inestroza.

Gourmet expects to start harvesting in Washington in mid-April, Inestroza said.

Southern Specialties increases capacity

The expansion of Southern Specialties’ Pompano Beach, Fla., facilities is enhancing the company’s capacity to handle asparagus, said Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development.

“We have forced air and hydro-cooled capabilities, temperature and humidity controlled cooling areas specific to asparagus so we can offer customers product that’s been handled as efficiently as possible,” Eagle said.

“We’ve also completed additional processing rooms, which we began using last year,” he said.



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