California summer fruit business updates - The Packer

California summer fruit business updates

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

He also will oversee the company’s Hermosillo, Mexico, grower relations and licensing staff.


Westside Produce conisders solar power

Firebaugh, Calif.-based Westside Produce plans to have solar power up and running before the expected July 1 start of melons.

“A couple of companies say they’ll have it all done for us before July and we’re excited about that,” Steve Patricio, president and chief executive officer, said March 21. “We expect to formalize that any day.”

“We’re looking to furnish the bulk of our power needs (with it), if it all works out,” he said.


Zaninovich & Sons starts Tudor Ranches deal

For the first time, Vincent B. Zaninovich & Sons Inc., Richgrove, Calif., will be packing and marketing grapes from Tudor Ranches Inc., Mecca, Calif., under the VBZ label this season.

The Coachella crop is expected to start in early May and transition into the San Joaquin Valley crop, which Chance Kirk, VBZ director of retail and food service sales, expects to start in late June.

VBZ also plans to expand its Sweet Sunshine proprietary grape program this year, complete with graphic stand-up pouches and accompanying retail displays.

“Last year was our first coming out party with that variety, and a couple retailers had semi-exclusives with them,” Kirk said.

This year, the maturing vineyards should yield about 20% more fruit as they near full production.

VBZ also has an exclusive arrangement this season with Safeway for organic Sweet Sunshine, which should hit shelves about the third week in July.

In addition, the grower-shipper plans to continue its bicolor cherry clamshell that features half royal rainiers and half red cherries in 1- and 2-pound containers.

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