Organic Produce business updates - The Packer

Organic Produce business updates

05/05/2014 03:16:00 PM
Tom Burfield

San Diego-based Organics Unlimited has added 370 acres of certified organic banana production in Michoacan, Mexico, which means the company will import six or seven additional loads of bananas per week in the summer and about four additional weekly loads during the winter, according to a news release. Having farms near the U.S.-Mexican border also should help the firm reduce its carbon footprint and speed distribution, according to the release.

Pacific to market pomegranate arils

Pacific Organic Produce, San Francisco, plans to offer organic pomegranate arils from Peru starting in May and continuing through September, said John Stair, domestic commodity manager. Then, from September to January or February, the company plans to start shipping domestic pomegranate arils. The product is sold under the Purity Organic label and packed in 12 3.5-ounce punnets per carton. This will be program’s second season.

PIM adds organic acreage in desert

Salinas, Calif.-based Pacific International Marketing, parent company of Pure Pacific Organics, is adding about 450 organic acres, mostly in the winter desert growing regions of Yuma and Phoenix, Ariz.; Coachella, Calif.; and in Mexico for the 2014-15 season, said Tom Russell, president. The company also is transitioning about 500 acres from conventional to organic for the 2015-16 season. The firm sells mostly vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, dry onions and melons. PIM bought the property next to its Gonzales, Calif., facility. “We have the potential to double the size of our (processing) facility,” Russell said.

That could happen in a couple of years, when maximum capacity is reached at its current facility. About 35% of the company’s volume is organic, he estimated.

Stemilt Growers Inc.Courtesy Stemilt Growers Inc.For the sixth season, all of the peaches and nectarines and 60% of the apricots marketed by Stemilt Growers Inc., Wenatchee, Wash., will be organically grown, says Brianna Shales, communications manager. They're sold under the Artisan Organics label.Stemilt website is mobile responsive

Stemilt Growers Inc., Wenatchee, Wash., has updated its website to make it “mobile responsive” so that visitors can access the site using mobile phones or tablets, said Brianna Shales, communications manager. The company offers organic apples, pears and some cherries, and for the sixth season, all of its peaches and nectarines and 60% of its apricots will be organically grown, she said. They’re marketed under the Artisan Organics label. “The idea behind the peach and nectarine program is (to offer) a differentiation point for retailers during the busy summer months,” she said. “The quality of the fruit is fantastic from Washington.”

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