Tex-Mex Winter Produce business updates - The Packer

Tex-Mex Winter Produce business updates

11/16/2012 01:15:00 PM
Tom Burfield

Allen Lund Co. opens McAllen office

The Allen Lund Co., based in La Cañada, Calif., has opened an office in McAllen, Texas, and named Bradley Wagers manager, according to a news release.

The office will mainly focus on handling heavy-haul flatbeds, particularly in and out of Mexico.

Wagers has more than 17 years of experience in the transportation industry.


Bebo Distributing expands office space

Bebo Distributing Inc., Pharr, Texas, has added 3,500 square feet of office space to accommodate its sales force and to “reorganize the way we’re delegating duties,” said Jimmy Garza, director of operations.

The company also has added quality control personnel and inspectors, made a larger conference room for training and put in two additional kitchens.

Improvements also were made in the employee parking areas, and, in the packinghouse, a fog tunnel was installed and a metal detector was added to improve food safety.

Bebo Distributing plans to increase its eggplant deal and add stoplight packs of bell peppers, Garza said.


Brandt Produce adds year-round cilantro

In response to customer requests, Brandt Produce Inc., Edinburg, Texas, now ships cilantro from Mexico year-round, said Blake Brandt, manager.

The company expects to ship about 2,200 cartons a week. Brandt also ships limes, carrots and avocados year-round.

The company plans to ship Mexican onions in January, Brandt said, and will begin its Texas onion program in March.


Fresh Tex enlarges storage, racking area

Fresh Tex Produce LLC, Alamo, Texas, has expanded its Global Food Safety Initiative certification in Mexico and in Texas and expanded its packing shed, adding 10,000 square feet of storage and racking area, said Ryan Wolverton, sales manager.

The company may undergo further expansion in the future, he said.

The firm’s product line includes papayas, mangoes, chili peppers, limes, tropicals, and, beginning in January, honeydews. All are grown in Mexico.


Loop Fresh Produce hires operations director

Loop Fresh Produce LLP, McAllen, Texas, has added value-added services to its cold storage services, said John McGuire, vice president of business development.

“This includes a new transportation partnership with (La Cañada, Calif.-based) Allen Lund Co., offering both LTL (less-than-truckload) and full-load transportation services from Loop’s facility in McAllen,” he said. The program began in mid-October.

Loop also has added increased repacking capability at Embassy Packing Inc., McAllen, offering several popular retail packaging options for citrus, onions, bell peppers and tomatoes, McGuire said.

The company also hired Jack Moyer, most recently with Nash Finch’s Cincinnati division, as its director of operations.


Progreso Produce adds sales manager

Progreso Produce Ltd., Boerne, Texas, has named a sales manager and opened a facility, said president Curtis DeBerry.

Tommy Whitlock, mostly recently with William D. Grasmick Inc., Granada, Colo., is now the company’s sales manager, DeBerry said. The firm opened an onion packing facility in Weiser, Idaho, in early September.

Progreso will ship 800,000 units of Spanish onions out of the location this winter.

The company’s product line also includes watermelons, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and other items. Most of the firm’s product is imported from Mexico, but some is grown in Texas, DeBerry said.


South Tex Organics improves sanitation

South Tex Organics LC, Mission, Texas, has installed a system that enables the company to apply sanitation material more efficiently, said president Dennis Holbrook.

Operating on the same principal as systems that are used to paint automobiles, the sanitation chamber uses electrostatic technology to apply organically approved sanitation materials more effectively, covering the fruit more completely but ensuring that not more than one droplet covers any single point, he said.

The system enables the company to use a higher concentration of material and less water to apply it.

The system disinfects the fruit better than the previous method, he said. Since the particles are too big to inhale, the system is safer for workers.


Sunny Produce and Brokerage grows

McAllen, Texas-based Sunny Produce and Brokerage LLC plans to open branch offices with salesmen in Minneapolis and Indianapolis, said Victor Thomas Myers, vice president.

The company has launched a website, sunnyproduce.com, that talks about the family-owned business and will offer recipes and tell how visitors can win a fruit basket.

Sunny Produce also has a new warehouse manager, Marin Cavazos, most recently with Healds Valley Farms Inc., Edinburg, Texas, and has added forklift operators and a sales secretary.

The company also has upgraded its accounting system and added custom software, Myers said.

The firm’s round tomato program under the Barajas label continues to attract customers, and the company has ramped up its bell pepper business, selling a load or two a week of yellow and red peppers.

Chili pepper sales also are on the rise, Myers said.

The company’s product line also includes roma, cherry and grapes tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, lemons, limes, cactus leaves, squash, pineapples and papayas.


Texas, Arizona groups to co-host conference

The 2013 America Trades Produce Conference is scheduled for March 6-8 in McAllen, Texas.

The conference will be co-hosted by the Mission-based Texas International Produce Association and the Nogales, Ariz.-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.

Information will be posted at americatradesproduce.com as it becomes available.


Vision Produce to add more mangoes, limes

Pharr-based Vision Produce Partners of Texas plans to expand its mango program, said Ben Brittain, executive vice president and managing partner.

“We had a real good program last year, and we will expand it by 35%,” he said.

The company also will offer product from Peru and launch a program from Ecuador.

The firm plans to increase its lime program by 50% and was scheduled to start shipping romas and broccoli in November.

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