Many asparagus growing regions are in full production. “This is the time of year our diversity in global asparagus supply really shines,” says Lauren Brierly with Progressive Produce. The company has product coming out of Mexico, Peru, Washington, and Michigan. “Having supplies out of so many growing regions makes us one of the largest shippers on asparagus with year-round supplies out of Mexico and Peru, as well as the largest shipper of USA-grown asparagus,” she added. This time of year, strong supplies are coming from all growing regions. “As a result, we are able to fulfill any needs, across multiple regions, with good quality,” she added.
To accommodate product from the four different growing regions, Progressive Produce has several distribution warehouses throughout the US. “We are shipping our products from four different warehouses.” Mexico asparagus is shipping from the Los Angeles, CA warehouse, Washington asparagus from Pasco, WA, Michigan asparagus from the Kent City, Michigan warehouse and Peruvian asparagus is shipping from the warehouse in Miami, FL.
Pictured right is Lauren Brierly.
From specialty vegetable to common item
Not only do the four warehouses play a key role in getting product to consumers in a timely matter, they also provide for much needed capacity. Popularity of asparagus has increased in recent years, moving from a specialty vegetable to a common item on consumers’ shopping lists. “To meet the consumer’s increased demand for asparagus, we have widened our assortment, producing more than just green asparagus,” said Brierly. The company offers white asparagus from Peru throughout the year, as well as purple and organic asparagus harvested from Mexico and Washington. In addition to lose items, product is offered in consumers bags and Progressive Produce is able to pack in customer specific presentations.
Limited logistical challenges
Over the past 12 months, the company has been faced with logistical challenges. “We are seeing inbound and outbound delays as well as higher than usual rates,” Brierly shared. “Having four warehouses throughout the United States, coupled with multiple growing regions, especially right now, has allowed us to adapt to the freight challenges and customer needs. Between our warehouses, we are able to ensure orders are delivered on time and in full.” Fortunately, the availability of consumer bags and customer specific packs has not been affected by the current logistical situation.
How does Progressive Produce differentiate from other asparagus growers-shippers? “We live by the core value, “‘we do what we say we will do”. This action has proven to be a difference maker for us in this industry and how we continue to gain the confidence and partnerships of our growing partners, retail and food service partners as well,” commented Brierly. “If we are committing to a price, a volume, etc., we will follow through. This is a part of the excellent customer service our team delivers every day.”
Looking forward to the second half of this year, the Progressive Produce sales team and growers are excited to finish out strong and with steady supply from Mexico and Peru. In 2020, the company was among the top importers on Peruvian asparagus and plans to continue that trend this year. “We will have green, white, purple and organic asparagus through the end of the year,” she concluded.