Two new hires highlight the Oppenheimer Group’s commitment to growing its Chilean blueberry and other berry programs.
In September, Vancouver, British Columbia-based Oppy hired Carolyn Chang, an industry veteran, to its Chino Hills, Calif., office, said Nolan Quinn, the company’s berry category director.
Chang, who has worked in the berry business for at least 15 years for companies including Well-Pict and Orange County Produce, will sell a variety of commodities but her focus will be on berries, Quinn said.
“We’re getting a lot more berries in general, not just from Chile, and our berry desk is growing,” he said.
In addition to Chang, earlier this year Oppy added salesman Rob Campbell to the company’s Newark, Del., office. Like Change, Campbell has extensive experience selling berries, Quinn said.
Campbell previously worked for Oppenheimer beginning in the late 1990s, leading a Zespri kiwifruit sampling staff in Eastern Europe. He also worked for the company’s quality control staff from 2001-05.
Campbell has worked in the berry category for several years. He was a salesman for Fisher Capespan USA, Glouster City, N.J., and in Avondale, Pa., for Los Angeles-based The Giumarra Cos. He also opened a sales office for Berry Fresh in Gloucester City. Most recently, Campbell sold berries for Pure Fresh, Kennett Square, Pa.,
Oppy has plans to increase its Chilean blueberry volumes by 50% this season, although a series of hard freezes in September will likely drop that target, Quinn said.
Boosting its Chilean production is just one piece of the company’s plan for categorywide berry volume growth. The company wants to bring in more blueberries and blackberries from Mexico and more blueberries from Peru, Quinn said.