The third Eastern Produce Council (EPC) Leadership Class experienced key aspects of the produce logistics and distribution system with a tour of the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market (PWPM) and Holt Logistics on May 11, 2021.
“We were excited to engage this group of professionals with such crucial supply chain partners such as PWPM and Holt,” said Susan McAleavey Sarlund, EPC executive director.
The day started with a presentation on the market’s history, evolution and current technology from John Vena of John Vena Inc., a former member of the PWPM Board of Directors and current “unofficial historian.” Vena noted the current modern facility will celebrate its 10th anniversary this June. Participants could walk the fully enclosed and refrigerated concourse and meet with various market merchants.
EPC class explores exotic produce at John Vena Inc.
“The tour reinforced the passion and dedication from all the merchants to offer the very best quality, and selection of produce,” said Michael Harwood, sales representative for Yes!Apples powered by New York Apple Sales.
In the afternoon, the class traveled to the Gloucester Marine Terminal in Gloucester City, NJ, where they were treated to lunch and a presentation on the Philadelphia port facilities by Leo Holt, president of Holt Logistics Corp, and Sander “Sandy” Daniel, senior tropical marketing manager. “Philadelphia and the Ports of the Delaware River have become a major produce entry point because we are so well situated and easy to move cargo through,” said Holt.
EPC Group in front of DelMonte cargo ship. Left to right: Dembeck of Minkus Family Farms; McCann of DelMonte; Din of FreshPro; Ciammaruconi of Wakefern; Arduini of FreshPro; McAleavey Sarlund of EPC; Santo of Wakefern; Carroll of Wonderful Citrus; Harwood of New York Apple Sales; Fabrizio of Four Seasons Produce; Daniel of Holt; Rose of John Vena Inc.; Pape of Frank Donio Inc.; Paolino of Wakefern Food Corp.
Daniel escorted the participants to areas of the Gloucester port including a tour of the DelMonte facility given by John McCann, vice-president northeast region for Del Monte Fresh Produce.
The program chooses up to 20 produce professionals for each Leadership Class, a professional development experience for those with less than 10 years of experience in the industry. This year’s participants include: Rich Arduini of FreshPro Food Distributors; Kevin Carroll of Wonderful Citrus; Frank Ciammaruconi of Wakefern Food Corp.; Dylan Dembeck of Minkus Family Farms; Phu Din of FreshPro Food Distributors; Rachel Fabrizio of Four Seasons Produce; Michael Harwood of New York Apple Sales; Andrew Hernandez of LGS Specialty Sales; Brian Kenny of Wakefern Food Corp.; Justin Kerner of Ballard Spahr LLP; Mattie Leid of Hess Brothers Fruit Co.; Michael Paolino of Wakefern Food Corp.; Annie Pape of Frank Donio Inc.; Gabrielle Procacci of Procacci Brothers Sales Corp.; and Kelsey Rose of John Vena Inc.