Organic Produce business updates - The Packer

Organic Produce business updates

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

Viva Tierra offers Alex Lucas pears

Once again, Sedro-Woolley, Wash.-based Viva Tierra Organic Inc. is offering organic Alexander Lucas pears — often called Alex Lucas pears — for a limited time, said Addie Pobst, organic integrity and logistics coordinator. The little-known heirloom variety has a dedicated following among pear connoisseurs, she said, and should be available until Memorial Day. The company will have fewer than 45 pallets of the pears, which are grown in the Rio Negro River valley of Argentina. They have a dense, juicy and buttery-smooth white flesh, she said.

Wholesum adding greenhouse acreage

Wholesum Family Farms, Nogales, Ariz., is adding more than 10 acres of greenhouses for miniature cucumbers, seedless cucumbers and tomatoes, said sales manager Steve Le Fevre. “This year we are seeing a huge response to our tray pack line to conventional retailers who are expanding their organic offerings,” Le Fevre said. The firm also is launching an upgraded website in May that will feature recipes, kitchen tips and nutritional facts. “We have also developed grilling squash packs that link the consumer back to our recipes, cooking instructions, and healthy eating tips,” he said. Also at Wholesum Family Farms, Julio Lopez, formerly senior account manager, has been promoted to assistant sales manager.

Wish Farms grows berry programs

Plant City, Fla.-based Wish Farms now offers conventional and organic strawberries and blueberries year-round, said Amber Kosinsky, director of marketing. With the Florida strawberry season winding down, focus has turned to the California strawberry deal and Florida blueberry season, she said. Wish Farms grows strawberries in Salinas and Santa Maria, Calif. This will be the first year of growing organic strawberries in California.

The company’s organic and conventional Florida blueberries will continue through mid- to late May, when the firm will source from Georgia. With the expansion of its Florida blueberry program, Wish Farms has put resources into increasing its packing capability by adding an additional blueberry line in Plant City, Kosinsky said.

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