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Berry companies consolidate and build on strengths

GEM-Pack Berries, LLC and Red Blossom Sales, Inc. are combining forces to capitalize on tangible synergies that translate directly to customer benefits.

GEM-Pack and Red Blossom build on more than 150 years of berry farming experience and collective acreage of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries in nine berry growing regions throughout California, Mexico, Florida, and South America. “We believe the industry is changing and proactive consolidation will benefit our customers with consistency of supply, balanced production curves, improved quality, and increased order fill rates for the entire spectrum of berries and seasons,” says Paul Kawamura, director of sales.

GEM-Pack and Red Blossom build on more than 150 years of berry farming experience and collective acreage of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries in nine berry growing regions throughout California, Mexico, Florida, and South America.

After four years of quietly collaborating on cultivation and sales partnerships, GEM-Pack and Red Blossom realized their common philosophies and shared production priorities created a productive and powerful team. “The synergies on all commodities and growing regions were obvious. The shared corporate values and level of mutual trust, as well as continued success of our grower base and unwavering commitment to customer service, inspired us to join forces,” says David Lawrence, COO.

The consolidation combines GEM-Pack’s partnership with Healthy Harvest in Watsonville, and GEM-Pack’s operations in Oxnard, Irvine, Baja, and Central Mexico, with Red Blossom Farm’s acreage in Santa Maria. Included in the consolidation is Red Blossom’s production from the Parkesdale Group in Florida, as well as Red Blossom’s exclusive partnership with Mainland Farms in Central Mexico. Mainland Farms, a strawberry shipper, also offers a berry program with blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. GEM-Pack’s blueberry and bushberry programs in Mexico and South America will round out the company’s now year-round berry product.

“As the overall produce industry continues to consolidate, we wanted to stay proactive and flexible,” says Mike Etchandy, CEO.

The consolidation combines GEM-Pack’s partnership with Healthy Harvest in Watsonville (above), and GEM-Pack’s operations in Oxnard, Irvine, Baja, and Central Mexico, with Red Blossom Farm’s acreage in Santa Maria.

In 2010, Red Blossom introduced an electronic traceback system that provided traceability to the individual clamshell level. In recent years, GEM-Pack joined forces with others in the berry category to create CBC, LLC, establishing a pathway to develop proprietary varieties throughout several growing regions. GEM-Pack continues to develop its patented “Earth Made,” project focused on 100 percent sustainable growing practices and technologies.

For more information:
Michelle Deleissegues
GEM-Pack Berries, LLC
Red Blossom Sales, Inc.
Tel: +1 (831) 320-8181
michelle@redblossom.com 
www.redblossom.com 
www.gem-packberries.com 


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