Florida Spring Produce business updates

03/11/2014 02:44:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

The bins account for about 35% of bulk cabbage shipments, up from 20% last season, he said.

J&J adds green beans, pepper PLU stickers

J&J Family of Farms Inc. is now farming green beans.

The Loxahatchee, Fla.-based grower-shipper planted more than 100 acres of beans on new land near Stuart, Fla.

J&J planned to start harvesting by mid-March, said Brian Rayfield, vice president of business development and marketing.

For bell peppers, J&J recently installed automatic Price Look-Up sticker machinery.

“This will enable us to fulfill some of our customer requests,” Rayfield said. “It will allow us to more efficiently individually apply PLU stickers for bell peppers for existing and new customers. This is important as we try to expand our brand and provide more convenience for our retail partners.”

Mack Farms, McMelon upgrades equipment

Mack Farms Inc. and McMelon Inc. have made some investments in its potato harvesting equipment and watermelon packing operations.

In late February, the Lake Wales, Fla.-based grower-shipper was installing a watermelon sorting line.

The machinery will help increase watermelon packing efficiencies and volume and help save on labor, said Chandler Mack, vice president of operations.

The watermelon sorting line is expected to be ready for harvest by late April.

To improve its potato harvesting, Mack Farms installed equipment that harvests and handles potatoes in a gentler and more efficient manner, Mack said.

The equipment can dig six rows of potatoes versus the four rows previous equipment harvested and should also increase harvesting volume for its red, white and yellow potatoes, he said.

The company also was going some minor upgrades on its packing line to improve volume and sizings, Mack said.

Additionally, Mack and McMelon added Doug Miller as a salesman to handle mostly watermelons.

A longtime sales veteran, Miller formerly worked for Lipman, Immokalee, Fla., and was also in blueberry sales.

Southern Corporate Packers adds acreage

Southern Corporate Packers Inc., Immokalee, Fla., has increased its watermelon acreage.

Though Brian Arrigo, president, declined to state acreage, the grower-shipper expanded South, central and north Florida plantings by 300%.

It increased acreage on seedless and miniature melons, he said.

Southern Corporate grows and ships watermelon from Florida, Georgia, Delaware, Indiana and southern Ontario, Canada.


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