Longtime organic expert Chris Ford has joined Viva Tierra Organic, a leading grower and marketer of organic apples and pears, in the role of Business Development and Marketing Manager as the company looks toward a strong season of South American fruit. Viva Tierra is the largest supplier of organic apples and pears from South America.
Viva Tierra Organic’s all-organic program includes year-round apples and pears, featuring premium fruit from Argentina and Chile (where Viva Tierra maintain its own farm and cold storage) during the southern hemisphere season as well as Washington and California during the northern hemisphere season. A portion of the southern hemisphere fruit is also Fair Trade certified.
The Viva Tierra portfolio also includes seasonal items such as onions, kiwi, and stone fruit. “We are very excited about the new crop Bartlett pears from our growers in Argentina,” said Viva Tierra president and CEO Luis Acuña. “The weather has really been ideal during the growing and harvesting season. Just a bit cooler. Our fruit is exceptionally high-quality this season and we expect to be first to market with Bartlett Pears from Argentina the week of February 17th.”
Ford comes to Viva Tierra with more than 25 years’ experience in organic produce, always a champion for organic integrity and social responsibility while expanding accessibility and opportunity for farmers, retailers, and consumers. “I’ve known Chris for many years and I’ve always admired both his organic commitment and his business savvy,” said Acuña. “We are thrilled to have him on our team. His deep experience and strategic perspective will be of tremendous value as we continue to build the business to meet the needs of our customers.”
“Viva Tierra has truly been organic to core since 1984, with real dedication to both our growers and our customers,” said Ford. “Regenerative farming practices and social fairness are integral to how we do business. But we’re also working with emerging technologies that support our growers in the quest to improve return to the ranch, eating experience for the consumer, and packaging innovation to reduce plastics. That’s stuff that really matters.”
Prior to joining Viva Tierra, Ford’s career has spanned leadership roles in sales, strategic planning, supply chain management, and grower relations from Earthbound Farm to Whole Foods Markets to, most recently, The Oppenheimer Group. “I’ll be working with all my talented colleagues at Viva Tierra to expand our portfolio with some highly desirable new items grown by dedicated farmers around the world with great stories and even better produce. Look for some exciting new items later this year.”