( Courtesy Sunripe Certified Brands )

Sunripe Certified Brands and Pete Pappas & Sons, which have a 70-year buying-selling relationship, are building on that with a partnership in tomato grower Smoky Mountain Family Farms.

Sunripe, Palmetto, Fla., and Pete Pappas & Sons Inc., Jessup, Md., are both fourth-generation produce companies and Smoky Mountain Family Farms (SMFF) is based in Newport, Tenn.

Pete Pappas & Sons is a partner in the tomato grower.

“This partnership in SMFF combines the Pappas’s strengths as a premier distribution organization and Sunripe Certified Brand’s strengths as a leading farming organization,” according to a news release. “It will advance the outdoor American-grown tomato industry through innovation and shared core values.”

Jon Esformes, CEO of Sunripe Certified Brands, said Sunripe’s Esformes and Heller families are honored to form the partnership with the Pappas family.

“In an increasingly complicated landscape the opportunity to combine our shared values and differing skill sets is very exciting,” Esformes said in the release. “It’s a partnership that we all believe will create a truly unique experience for our combined customers.”

Aris Pappas, chief operating officer, said the partnership will bring growth to Smoky Mountain Family Farms.

Sunripe Certified Brands will be at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure Feb. 27-29 in Tampa, Fla., at booth No. 529, 

Related stories:

Tennessee tomato grower forms partnership with Gargiulo Inc.

Smoky Mountain Family Farms starting organic program