Two North America onion and potato companies announce partnership
CSS Farms, a multi-state agriculture company producing onions and chip and specialty potatoes, and RPE — a category leader and year-round grower/shipper of potatoes and onions — announced the selection of RPE as the exclusive marketing partner of Agri-Pack, a CSS Farms subsidiary and Pasco, WA-based grower-packer-distributor of potatoes and onions.
CSS Farms Managing Partner Reagan Grabner said the partnering organizations share a collaborative mindset, strategic approach and entrepreneurial spirit, noting RPE and CSS Farms have worked effectively together since 2010 as joint venture partners in Tasteful Selections, an industry leader in the bite-size potato category, growing it from 1˝ percent of the United States market eight years ago to 18 percent today.
“We are pleased,” Grabner said, “to add a vital and strategic piece to our business by establishing this exclusive arrangement with RPE, a proven entity with a lengthy track record.”
Larry Denke will continue to represent sales at the Agri-Pack Pasco office as he has for the past 13 years, with support from RPE’s sales and marketing teams throughout the United States. Effective March 12, the Pasco office will become an RPE location and Denke an RPE employee. Customer accounts-payable and accounts-receivable will be managed by RPE.
Since the 2017 mid-year acquisition of Agri-Pack by CSS Farms, a commitment to positioning the business for future growth has been apparent, Denke said. “I already have witnessed significant investment in the business to bring even more innovation to our operations in the northwest.
“Adding RPE’s sales and marketing expertise is an integral piece,” he added, “of our commitment to deliver the best value to our customers and consumers.”
RPE in the past decade expanded from a company operating almost exclusively in Wisconsin to a diversified organization selling from every onion- and potato-producing state in the United States and Canada.
Russell Wysocki, RPE president, expects Agri-Pack operations to anchor a comprehensive onion program supplying food service companies, restaurants, retailers and other entities servicing and selling directly to consumers.
“Agri-Pack will be the cornerstone of an expanding onion program that contributes to growth of an entire industry, just as we have demonstrated with the potato industry during the last 10 years,” Wysocki said.
According to the company, RPE as a sales and marketing entity has considerable experience working with growers and customers alike to introduce innovations while expanding the potato and onion categories.
“We are looking forward to bringing exciting things to the onion category,” Wysocki said. “There is a joint vision between the companies of how to grow the onion industry in a mutually-beneficial way for Agri-Pack, RPE and everybody along our supply chain.”
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Publication date: 2/28/2018
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