Bland Farms LLC expands packing

Glennville, Ga.-based Bland Farms LLC is expanding its efforts this year to grade and pack its Peruvian onions close to the fields, said Delbert Bland, the company’s owner.

The process is easier on the product, Bland said.

“We’re still doing that but now we’re harvesting more out of the field and running through the grader and it seems we’re not getting as much bruising here,” he said.

The company launched that practice a year ago, and it worked so well that it is expanding it, Bland said.

Customized Brokers hires manager

Mauro Suazo joined Medley, Fla.-based Customized Brokers Inc. in November 2013 as business development manager.

“I was a customer for 25 years,” said Suazo, former owner of Honduras-based Suazo Agro Industrial, a grower-shipper of melons.

Customized Brokers is building its involvement in the Peruvian onion deal, Suazo said.

“We’ve been working sporadically, but it was not a big part of the strategy. Now, with the capacities of Customized being able to clear customs anywhere in North America, we can bring cargo anywhere, and we are planning and growing stronger in Peru and onions are part of it,” he said.

Customized Brokers’ shipments of Peruvian onions bound for the U.S. increased by 10-15% in the last year, Suazo said.

G&R Farms oversees Peru operations

Glennville, Ga.-based G&R Farms is now overseeing all phases of its Peruvian onion production, said Walt Dasher, co-owner.

“This year we’re doing our own 100% production program, doing the farming, growing, overseeing the activities there,” he said.

All growers are either now company employees are contract exclusively with G&R Farms, Dasher said.

“It just gives us a lot more of knowing day to day of what’s going on,” Dasher said.

Oso Sweet boosts Peruvian program

Savannah, Ga.-based Oso Sweet says it expects “rapid growth” in its Peruvian onion program this year.

“We should probably end up as the fourth-largest importer of Peruvian onions this year, which is up significantly from where we were just a couple of years ago,” said Mark Breimeister, sales director of Saven Corp., an Oso Sweet affiliate.

Shuman Produce plans packing space

Reidsville, Ga.-based Shuman Produce Inc. is building a new sweet onion packing facility in Peru to improve supply chain efficiency, said John Shuman, president.

The new facility will improve the program by allowing for more flexibility and improved service to retail customers, Shuman said.