packer
Ashley Nickle

Staff writer Ashley Nickle collected these news items May 12 at the West Coast Produce Expo in Palm Springs, Calif.

LIMONEIRA: Sales representative Ian Smetona (left) and domestic sales manager Rick Goodside talk with booth goers about Santa Paula, Calif.-based Limoneira’s classic lemons, meyer lemons and pink lemons. All product is coming from California currently. Visitors were less familiar with the pink lemons and excited to talk about those and learn more about them. Pink lemons are typically available February through May or June.
 

packer
Ashley Nickle

Staff writer Ashley Nickle collected these news items May 12 at the West Coast Produce Expo in Palm Springs, Calif.

PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL: Kim Fellom, who works in sales and marketing at Salinas, Calif.-based Pacific International Marketing, and president Dave Johnson speak with visitors at the booth. The big talking point for the company has been that all the romaine being grown now is from California, which has not been linked to the E. coli outbreak associated with Arizona product. Confusion over whether romaine is safe has hurt sales for numerous companies since the outbreak alert April 13.

packer
Ashley Nickle

Staff writer Ashley Nickle collected these news items May 12 at the West Coast Produce Expo in Palm Springs, Calif.

MOONLAND: Food safety director Crystal Shoghi and salesman Anthony Shoghi talk about Vernon, Calif.-based Moonland Produce’s exclusive varieties of California dragonfruit. Moonland partnered with Gelson’s last year to offer the product whole and fresh-cut.

“A lot of the hard part is, for people that have already had dragonfruit, we have to tell them, ‘Okay, what you had before, I’m not necessarily saying it’s bad or good, you might have enjoyed it, you might have not liked it, but what I’m presenting to you is something that you’ve never had before,’” Anthony Shoghi says.

The company offers California fruit from late July through about mid-December. It also offers Vietnamese fruit year-round.
 

packer
Ashley Nickle

Staff writer Ashley Nickle collected these news items May 12 at the West Coast Produce Expo in Palm Springs, Calif.

BRAVANTE PRODUCE: Sales manager Steve Shearer speaks about Reedley, Calif.-based Bravante Produce’s grapes. Bravante Produce expects to start harvesting grapes in the San Joaquin Valley in late June or early July. Once the season begins, it will continue through early December. Shearer has been with Bravante for about two months and handles the grape category. He previously worked at Delano-based Castle Rock Vineyards. Another new hire for Bravante is Eric Coy, also a veteran of Castle Rock. He will handle grape exports.

packer
Ashley Nickle

Staff writer Ashley Nickle collected these news items May 12 at the West Coast Produce Expo in Palm Springs, Calif.

SUN WORLD: Danielle Loustalot, marketing specialist at Sun World International, discusses the bee-friendly certification the Bakersfield, Calif., company received.

“We recently, as part of our larger sustainability program, decided to partner with an organization in California that does a program that’s called Seeds for Bees, so they provide California growers with bee-friendly crop seeds to plant in their vineyards, and the crop provides habitat and nutrition and breeding grounds for honeybees to try to repopulate them in the area,” Loustalot says.

Sun World expected its Mexican grape program to begin the week of May 14 and its early-season grapes from the Coachella Valley to follow.
 

packer
Ashley Nickle

Staff writer Ashley Nickle collected these news items May 12 at the West Coast Produce Expo in Palm Springs, Calif.

WELL-PICT: Jim Grabowski, director of marketing for Watsonville, Calif.-based Well-Pict, and Johnna Johnson, accounts manager and media relations for Marketing Plus, speak about the company’s strawberries and raspberries. The Oxnard region is finishing up, so strawberries are going to be mostly coming from Santa Maria and Watsonville. Raspberries are also being sourced from Watsonville. Quality this year has been very good, Grabowski says.
 

 

packer
Ashley Nickle

Staff writer Ashley Nickle collected these news items May 12 at the West Coast Produce Expo in Palm Springs, Calif.

APIO: Jamie Stroup, customer service account specialist (left), and Audrey Dunne, business development manager for the West, display some of Guadalupe, Calif.-based Apio’s kale-based salad mixes. A new family-size pack of the Sweet Kale has been available for one month. Apio is also extending its TimeSavors line, with the new addition yet to be revealed. The company was also showing its Salad Shake Ups.
 

packer
Ashley Nickle

Staff writer Ashley Nickle collected these news items May 12 at the West Coast Produce Expo in Palm Springs, Calif.

RICHARD BAGDASARIAN: Salesman Michael Bozick (from left), sales director Julie Fargo and vice president of marketing Franz De Klotz talk about Mecca, Calif.-based Richard Bagdasarian’s grapes. De Klotz said early sweet grapes started the week of May 7. Organic red, green and black varieties were set to begin the week of May 14. The season typically goes from May 1 through about July 15, but cool weather has delayed the crop some. De Klotz also spoke about peppers and eggplant, which normally start for the company in the last week of April and run through about June 10 before product starts being sourced from the Bakersfield area.
 

packer
Ashley Nickle

Staff writer Ashley Nickle collected these news items May 12 at the West Coast Produce Expo in Palm Springs, Calif.

CHAMP’S MUSHROOMS: Michael Richmond (left), vice president of sales, and Geoff Bickham, general manager of operations for South Mill Mushrooms distribution on the West Coast, discuss some of their most popular products. Aldergrove, British Columbia-based Champ’s Mushrooms and Kennett Square, Pa.-based South Mill Mushrooms merged in January.

“Brown organic mushrooms are really hot these days, so our brown organic mushrooms are probably the highest demanded item going into the summertime,” Richmond says. “Portabellos is the same sort of deal, with the grilling season coming on board, so everybody’s starting to throw them on the barbecue ... we’re really excited for the summer months.”

  • packer
  • packer
  • packer
  • packer
  • packer
  • packer
  • packer
  • packer
  • packer