Baja California Tomatoes business updates

05/24/2013 12:04:00 PM
Tom Burfield

Andrew & Williamson hires Paul Hammans

San Diego-based Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce has hired Paul Hammans as a sales manager, said John King, vice president of sales.

Hammans most recently was with the San Diego location of Feeding America, a Chicago-based hunger-relief charity. He also has retail experience with Portsmouth, Ohio-based Save-A-Lot supermarkets.

 

Five locations help Bernardi offer value

Bernardi & Associates, a Nogales, Ariz.-based broker that focuses on round, roma, cherry and grape tomatoes, has established offices in San Diego, Northern California, Nogales, South Texas and Florida to facilitate a year-round tomato program, president Joe Bernardi said.

“We can source mature-greens, vine-ripes, romas, grapes and cherries 52 weeks of the year,” he said.

The various locations help the company ensure value to its customers, he said, “by being on the ground and buying the right quality at the right price for our customers.”

 

California Tomato Farmers play it safe

Sacramento-based California Tomato Farmers has developed a voluntary food safety program for its members and plans to continue its marketing efforts in Canada this season, associate director Spencer Halsey said.

The organization uses California Department of Food and Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture auditors to audit the food safety standards, he said.

“The organization prides itself on the transparency of the process,” he said, pointing out that buyers can view audit information on its website, californiatomatofarmers.com.

There’s a separate website — ctf-canada.com — geared toward marketing California tomatoes in Canada.

 

DiMare Co. modifies two packing lines

The DiMare Co., Newman, Calif., has made some modifications to its roma and main packing lines to improve efficiencies and the quality of the pack, field operations manager Jeff Dolan said.

Pre-sizers were added to the roma line “so that we do a better job of putting the right size tomatoes into the boxes,” he said.

The company also has separated jumbo tomatoes from other sizes on the main line to increase the quality of the pack.

 

Mike Stephens joins Expo Fresh in sales

Mike Stephens, who most recently operated his own brokerage in San Diego, has joined San Diego-based Expo Fresh LLC as a salesman, sales manager Bob Schachtel said.

Stephens will sell all of the company’s tomato products.

Expo Fresh expects to start its Baja California tomato program around June 1, as usual.

“Everything so far looks good,” Schachtel said May 7.

 

Fresh Pac focuses on flavor, organics

Heavy emphasis on flavor along with its entrance into the organic category will highlight the season for Fresh Pac International, Oceanside, Calif., sales director Brian Bernauer said.

The company expects up to 15% of its roma, vine-ripe, grape and cherry tomatoes to be organically grown this season, and the company plans to continue to expand its organic program in coming years, Bernauer said.

Fresh Pac also is focusing on high flavor for all of its tomatoes to help retailers drive sales, he said.

 

Carole Sugerman joins Red Rooster Sales

Carole Sugerman, a veteran with more than 25 years in the produce industry, has joined Red Rooster Sales, Firebaugh, Calif., as associate sales manager, said John Seasholtz, chief executive officer and principal owner.

Sugerman most recently was with Ace Tomato in Manteca, Calif.

With general sales manager Tom Frudden, the company now will have two established tomato sales representatives to handle its tomato deal full-time, Seasholtz said.

The vertically integrated, diversified farming company also grows processing onions, processing tomatoes, wine grapes and other rotation crops, he said.



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