Partnership makes Taylor & Fulton year-round tomato supplier

03/26/2010 03:35:20 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Taylor & Fulton Packing LLC, a Palmetto, Fla.-based tomato grower-shipper, is moving to year-round production by partnering with an eastern Tennessee grower-shipper.

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On March 26, Taylor & Fulton publicized its partnership with Fish Farms, Newport, Tenn., by adding Barry Stein, Fish Farm’s sales manager, to Taylor & Fulton’s sales desk.

Stein, a 33-year tomato industry sales veteran, is set to work in Florida on Taylor & Fulton’s sales desk during the fall, winter and spring and return to Tennessee to sell Fish Farms’ tomatoes from early July through September.

Ed Angrisani, a partner with Taylor & Fulton, said the two companies remain independent but will work to sell each other’s tomatoes.

“This ties Taylor & Fulton and Fish Farms together to have year-round tomatoes and to better compete in this world,” Angrisani said. “It gives our two companies a better chance to build the tomato industry that’s becoming more and more sophisticated all the time.”

Stein, who has also worked for a number of tomato companies such as the Palmetto-based Pacific Tomato Growers Ltd. and Harllee Packing Inc., and Juniper Tomato Growers Inc., Quincy, Fla., should bring experience and his strong customer base to Taylor & Fulton’s mature-greens, vine-ripes and roma tomato sales, Angrisani said.

Fish Farms packs under its Tennessee Pioneer label, while Taylor & Fulton — which Angrisani, Jim Grainger, and Brian Turner purchased in 2008 from previous Taylor & Fulton owners Jay Taylor and John Taylor — packs under the Taylor & Fulton label.

Taylor & Fulton’s owners grow and pack tomatoes from Immokalee, Fla., Palmetto and Quincy.

Jimmie Fish owns Fish Farms.

Jay Taylor’s deceased father, Jack Taylor, and Pete Fulton started Taylor & Fulton in 1953.

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