Blueberry committee developing new logo

The Buenos Aires-based Argentinean Blueberry Committee is changing its logo in an effort to create more awareness of the committee’s name, manager Ines Pelaez said.

The new look will stress the letters A-B-C in the committee’s name, and Pelaez said she is hopeful the organization will become known as “the ABC.”


Customized Brokers opens cooling plant

Customized Brokers, a division of Miami-based Crowley Fresh, is beginning the Argentine blueberry season with a new, 20,000-square-foot cold storage facility, said Eduardo Campos, director of perishable logistics.

The Miami facility has precooling, distribution, inventory rotation and repacking ability for blueberries that arrive from Argentina.

It should be able to handle half a million boxes in four different rooms and is expected to operate 24 hours a day. It can use forced air to precool 20 tons of blueberries every 40 minutes.


Giumarra increases its blueberry volume

Argentina blueberry volume is expanding for Los Angeles-based The Giumarra Cos., said Tom Richardson, vice president, global development.

The company expects to import up to 1,400 tons of blueberries from Argentina this season, he said, which is a significant increase from last year.

Richardson attributed the growth to an increased grower base, primarily in the Tucuman region.


Team Produce adds growers in Argentina

Team Produce International, Miami, expects to work with additional growers in Argentina this year, resulting in greater volume from that country compared with last year, president Mike Parr said.

Parr expects his company to see a 25% increase in Argentinean blueberries this year.


VBM, Hortifruit merger completed

The merger between Vital Berry Marketing, Santiago, Chile, and Hortifruit S.A., one of the owners of Naturipe Farms LLC, Estero, Fla., is officially complete, said Jim Roberts, Naturipe’s vice president of sales.

The merger more than doubles the size of the company’s Argentina program, he said.

The original announcement was made about a year ago, but the acquisition was not completed until the end of the Chilean blueberry deal earlier this year.

VBM has the earliest Argentine fruit, Roberts said, which means Naturipe now will be the first to market with Argentine blueberries in the U.S. and will be the largest importer of the fruit.