Ciruli Bros.

Ciruli Bros. LLC, Nogales, Ariz., hired Mat Kobayashi as director of grower programs in July.

Sandra Aguilar, marketing manager, said Kobayashi will be overseeing the company’s grower operations, including food safety and quality control systems.

“Mat has extensive experience in the industry and is very well respected by his peers, which makes him an important and welcome asset to our team,” Aguilar said.



The Nogales, Ariz.,-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas hosted the International Greenhouse Symposium on May 8 in Washington D.C., and on May 12 in Sacramento, Calif., according to a news release.

Lance Jungmeyer, president, said the events went well.

Sessions included topics ranging from the history of greenhouse growing and trends to regulations and climate change, all designed to educate growers on the various technologies involved in greenhouse growing.

“Some greenhouses in cold weather areas require additional heating and lighting, which adds costs but brings the produce closer to the market. Meanwhile, warmer areas have innovated with greenhouses that help increase production and lengthen the growing seasons, while lowering the costs of delivered goods, even including freight,” Jungmeyer said in the release.


Greenhouse Produce Co.

Greenhouse Produce Co., Vero Beach, Fla., opened a facility in central Mexico to consolidate and pack products for shipment, said Fried de Schouwer, president.

“This location will not only consolidate product from smaller growers but also custom pack and check products for quality and freshness. It will give us a local handle on products there,” he said.

The consolidation facility opened over the summer and will begin packing during the fall season.

De Schouwer said almost all of his company’s product is from Mexico.

“A lot of other companies distribute from other regions, but we just do Mexico and try to service them better that way,” he said.

The company has shifted from being a winter producer to providing year-round supply.

“Over the past four years, we’ve been pushing for year-round product,” de Schouwer said.

In addition, the company will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year.


Oppenheimer Group

Divemex, the Guadalajara, Mexico-based greenhouse partner for Vancouver, British Columbia-based Oppenheimer Group, will add miniature peppers to its product line this year, said Aaron Quon, greenhouse and vegetable category director.

Red, yellow and orange mini peppers will be available in late December, Quon said.

The mini peppers will be Fair Trade certified like the rest of the company’s pepper offerings, and will be offered in 1-pound, 1.5-pound and 2-pound bags.

They were also recently verified by the Non-GMO Project.

Quon said the fair trade funds are making a difference.

“The workers have channeled the funds to over 350 scholarships for family members. Earlier this year, the funds helped establish a dental clinic at Divemex in Culiacan, contributing significantly to worker welfare and quality of life,” he said.


Prime Time

Prime Time International, Coachella, Calif., had a slight increase in protected acreage in Mexico this year, said Mike Aiton, marketing director, but mostly just some retooling.

“The expansion for us is in shade cloth. We have a nice new addition we put into shade in the summertime,” he said.

In addition, the company recently expanded a packing facility in Culiacan, Mexico.

“It will be our first full season with that in place and it will bring a big benefit to us as we automate as much as we can, giving us a better finished product,” Aiton said.


Westmoreland Sales

Westmoreland Sales, Leamington, Ontario, has a new facility in McAllen, Texas, to help distribute greenhouse produce out of Mexico, said Jimmy Coppola, account and marketing manager.

Currently the company is leasing the location, but is looking to the future for other solutions. “If everything works out as planned we will look to build or purchase in the years to come,” he said.

Coppola said the facility will be open by the end of September.