Business updates: Chilean Produce - The Packer

Business updates: Chilean Produce

11/11/2011 10:43:00 AM
Jim Offner

“It’s all attributable to avocados this year. The big freeze reduced their shipments to North America considerably, but in a normal harvest we would have set another record, as well.”

Dave’s Specialty plans organic berry bump

Coral Springs, Fla.-based Dave’s Specialty Imports plans to increase its organic berry shipments to the U.S. for the 2011-12 season by up to 15%, said Mike Bowe, the company’s Cincinnati-based vice president.

Driscoll’s invests in packing facilities

Watsonville, Calif.-based Driscoll Strawberry Associates Inc. has continued its trend of expanding its physical plants in Chile, said John Johnston, Chilean blueberry business director.

“We continue to invest in cold-storage and packing facilities to maintain quality standards,” he said. “Every year, we invest more in our infrastructure in Chile.”

Fresh Results moves into bigger offices

Weston, Fla.-based Fresh Results LLC has moved across town, said Eric Crawford, president.

“The company moved its office in the spring because we’re growing,” he said, adding that the move was the company’s third in five years. “We needed a much larger office. We’re doing a lot of hiring.”

Crawford estimated the company has grown from two full-time and one part-time employees, including himself, to 10 in the last four years.

The move accommodates more office space but required no warehousing, he said.

“For us, our seasonality changes so much, we go from heavy production out of Mexico to Argentina to Chile,” he said. 

“We have stuff coming to New Jersey and New York and now Los Angeles. We have so many different operations, it didn’t make sense to build around the one office.”

Hass Avocado Board director moves on

Jose Luis Obregon, the only managing director the Irvine, Calif.-based Hass Avocado Board had ever had, now has moved on.

Obregon left the board Oct. 31 to become president of a family-owned business, IPR Fresh LLC, in Nogales, Ariz.

He was asked about his experience with the Hass board, which coordinates marketing efforts of all avocado marketing orders that ship to the U.S., including the Chilean Hass Avocado Importers Association.

“It’s been a great, great experience for me to be here,” he said.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth in the six years I’ve been here. The category has almost doubled in size. More importantly, in all the realm of associations that promote avocados, we’ve been successful in trying to coordinate a lot of programs, avoid any overlapping of activities and maximize the returns on the members’ assessments.”

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