California summer fruit business updates

05/08/2014 02:17:00 PM
Vicky Boyd and Mike Hornick

Giumarra Cos. names grower chief

The Giumarra Cos., Reedley, Calif., has hired Don Warkentin to head its grower and field services.

He brings with him more than 20 years experience in the San Joaquin Valley stone fruit business, said John Thiesen, division manager.

“He’s really an asset to our deal and company,” he said.

Warkentin will be based in Reedley.

The grower-shipper this season also plans to introduce plum packaging and retail displays that focus on using the fruit in pies, according to a news release.

The Easy as Pie promotion will involve Nature’s Partner branded 2-pound zipper pouch bags with a peel-off recipe label. A quick-response code printed on the bag and accompanying multicolor vinyl display wraps will take consumers to a YouTube cooking video that illustrates how to make a fresh plum pie.

The video features Helen Krause, a retired plum producer who used to grow for Giumarra, as she shares her plum pie recipe and step-by-step instructions.

The recipe calls for two 2-pound bags of either red or black plums, which will ship from early June through September.

 

More galas in Primavera’s future

Primavera Marketing Inc., Stockton, Calif., plans to increase its volume on gala apples 25% or more in the next two to three years.

“We continue to make some new plantings and grafting to higher-colored strains on the galas,” said Rich Sambado, sales manager. “So our gala production should make a good jump this year and a significant jump in 2015 and 2016. At that point we may need to make some expansions in our pack line.”

 

Sun World picks operations director

Coachella, Calif.-based Sun World International LLC has named industry veteran Tom Clark director of southern facilities and operations in Coachella.

He succeeds Joe Sanchez, who was appointed North American director of grower relations and licensing.

Clark most recently was general manager of LoBue Citrus, Lindsay, Calif., and has extensive experience in managing packinghouse and cold storage operations in the San Joaquin Valley, according to a news release.

In his new role, Clark will manage all packing and cold-storage operations and staff for Sun World’s Southern California grower base.

Sanchez will be responsible for sourcing and licensing activities in the San Joaquin Valley and Mexico, including the firm’s California stone fruit licensing business and supporting the company’s central California grape growers.


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