California festival gets commission’s help

The El Centro-based California Asparagus Commission planned to mark the 25th anniversary of the Stockton Asparagus Festival by supplying more than 20,000 pounds of asparagus during the three-day event, April 23-25, said Cherie Watte Angulo, the commission’s executive director.

“It’s the largest food festival in California,” Watte said. “It’s a real point of pride to have such a symbol within the California agriculture industry.

Southern Specialties reaches for year-round

Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Southern Specialties Inc. has increased its concentration on year-round asparagus sourcing by adding new suppliers, said Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development.

The company also has added new private-label programs with a number of its value-added asparagus offerings, Eagle said.


Superior Sales hires food safety specialist

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based shipper Superior Sales Inc. has hired Katie Dykstra to handle food-safety matters, said Todd DeWaard, sales manager.

Dykstra joined the company around the first of the year, DeWaard said.

“Because there’s been such a push, we’ve been having her reach out to the growers more and get them prepared for the summer season,” DeWaard said. “The rules continue to get tougher and tougher each year.”

Dykstra came to the company from a family-run growing operation, DeWaard added.

“She’s the daughter of a grower and was familiar with the (food safety) aspects on her farm,” DeWaard said. “She had the background, and we saw she was mentoring some other growers, and so we decided this was what we wanted her to do at Superior.”