“As they grew from small players to a bit bigger, they haven’t lost touch but they’ve had difficulty keeping up with the large expansion going on.
“Greenhouse in Mexico has increased 30% each of the last three years. We’re offering them market information on a timely basis that can give them a little more control over their destiny.”
In return, De Schouwer said Greenhouse Produce can demand greater quality, better traceability and safety certification.
The company has production sites in Chihuahua, Sonora and Sinaloa, among other regions.
More is happening than a modest expansion and a bump in volume.
Greenhouse Produce, known for tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, is adding products.
They include wrapped peppers, from one to six in a sleeve; grape tomatoes in clamshells; and some organic products.
The company is also in the midst of social responsibility initiatives.
“We’re funding and supplying a home for unwed mothers and their newborns,” De Schouwer said.
L&M hires Nogales sales manager
Nick Kastis was named sales manager for the Nogales, Ariz., branch of L&M Cos.
“We are excited to have Nick join L&M,” said Greg Cardamone, general manager for vegetables for Raleigh, N.C.-based L&M Cos.
“His passion for the business coupled with his unique, varied experience will be of great value as we grow our business into the future.”
Kastis previously worked at Tricar Sales.
He grew up in a farming family in Culiacan and is a graduate of the University of Arizona.
Kastis joined L&M in September.
“He has extensive sales and management experience within and beyond the produce industry,” Cardamone said.
Prime Time anticipates more RPC use
Mike Aiton, director of marketing for Coachella, Calif.-based Prime Time International, said he expects reusable plastic containers to become more popular with clients.
“We’ll see more of that this year,” Aiton said.
“More major retailers are jumping into it with a renewed commitment. Citrus and apples might go to corrugated at Wal-Mart, but that doesn’t mean they’re abandoning RPC, just reexamining it. We’re standing by to see which direction customers point us.”