Amazon Produce adds product, salesmen

Longtime industry member Noe Arias has joined the West Coast location of Mullica Hill, N.J.-based Amazon Produce Network as a salesman, said Clark Golden, partner.

The company opened the office near the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market in March 2011. Arias works with industry veteran Sal Barba.

On the East Coast, Jon Smith, who is new to the produce industry, has joined the sales staff in Mullica Hill.

The company also has a new, crownless MD2 pineapple program shipping out of Costa Rica. Sold in 30-pound cartons, crownless pineapples desired by processors cut freight costs and reduce waste, Golden said.

Some product also will be available with crowns on for retailers.

Brooks Tropicals adds solo papayas from Brazil

Brooks Tropicals Inc., Homestead, Fla., has launched a product and hired a salesman, said Mary Ostlund, director of marketing.

The company now offers solo papayas from Brazil.

“We worked out an agreement with a grower in Brazil who provides great fruit,” she said.

The company is selling the fruit in a new box and newly designed Brooks Tropicals label.

“It’s working out to be a great program so far,” Ostlund said.

Also, Francisco Garza, who previously worked in the company’s receiving operation, has joined the sales department and sells all products.

Central American Produce ships papayas

Central American Produce Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla., has some new programs in effect this fall, said president Michael Warren.

The company plans to begin shipping maradol and tainung papayas from Guatemala during the second half of September.

“It’s something that fits very well into the tropical category with (our existing) customers,” he said.

The papayas will be available year-round.

The company also began a new pineapple deal out of Costa Rica in early August.

Central American Produce shipped some pineapples in the past but now is trying to increase supplies to meet customer demand, Warren said.

The company, which began shipping mangoes about 10 years ago, will start shipping limes in November.

Coast Citrus hires two, expands facility

Two salespeople have been added at Coast Citrus Distributors Inc., San Diego, said Isabel Freeland, vice president.

Steven Goldner, most recently with Ayco Farms Inc., Deerfield Beach, Fla., now works for Coast’s tropicals division in Princeton, Fla., and Zenaida Serrapio, most recently with Miami-based J&C Tropicals, also is at the company’s Princeton location.

The firm also has expanded its South San Francisco location with the purchase of a 60,000-square-foot building and 4 acres next to it for future expansion, Freeland said.

The building is scheduled to be occupied in about four months, after improvements are completed.

Del Monte Fresh perfects mango trays, blends

Value-added tropical products are popular offerings from Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc., Coral Gables, Fla., said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing. The company offers Del Monte Gold extra-sweet pineapple, mango and kiwifruit.

The pineapple comes in multiple sizes and mixes. Pineapple spears currently are the company’s most popular stock-keeping unit, he said.

“During the past few months, we have perfected the tray blends and packs for our fresh-cut mango, which is doing very well and rapidly increasing in popularity,” he said.

Kiwifruit usually is used as a garnish in various blends and trays. Although the packs are mainly sold at retail, Christou said foodservice is a growing market.

“Schools have recently been increasing their orders of blends and trays,” he said.

Unity Groves Corp. upgrades packing lines

Unity Groves Corp., Homestead, Fla., has expanded its facility, adding 12,000 square feet of coolers and upgrading its packing lines for avocados and mangoes, said Louie Carricarte, president and owner.

By mid-September, the whole facility is scheduled to be refrigerated, including packing areas.

The company also is adding four loading docks to the seven already in service. Including offices and storage areas, the facility now covers 24,000 square feet.