Greencastle, Pa.-based Keystone Fruit Marketing Inc. has merged with Los Angeles-based Progressive Produce LLC.
Marty Kamer, president of Keystone, will now be an owner in the Progressive management interest, according to a news release. That Progressive Produce management interest is controlled by president Jim Leimkuhler and vice presidents Victor Rodarte and Jack Gyben.
The move comes a year after Ireland-based multinational Total Produce PLC acquired a 65% equity stake in Progressive Produce.
The release said Kamer will continue in his role as president of Keystone, now a division of Progressive.
Keystone was founded in 1977 and markets sweet onions, hybrid onions, asparagus, peaches, apples and watermelons, according to the release. Keystone has offices in Pennsylvania, Florida, Washington, Texas, and California. Kamer has been the company’s president since the death of former president Kurt Schweitzer in February 2016.
Progressive Produce markets conventional and organic lines of asparagus, potatoes, onions, citrus and Hispanic fruits and vegetables, according to the release. The biggest volume product of the combined company will be asparagus under the Americas label.
“Our 50th Anniversary is 2017 and our positive momentum will be accelerated by combining our successful business with another great business in Keystone,” Leimkuhler said in the release. “Keystone is also a proud company with 40 years of growth, and brings quality brands, great people and geographic breadth to the growing Progressive family.”
He said the companies have compatible business values and predicted growth for the combined companies.
Kamer said in the release that the merger with Progressive is well-timed for Keystone.
“We are already an international company with our Mayan Sweet Onion program from Peru and Mexico, plus our asparagus grower base and acreage in Peru adds an important dimension,” Kamer said in the release. “We are excited about expanding our global footprint as part of Progressive and we anticipate future growth in our business in the coming years.”