2024 40 Under Forty Winner: Armando Taddei Torres

Senior Sales Representative
Marengo Foods
San Juan, TX

Age: 38
Hometown: Nogales, AZ
Hobbies: Golf, Tennis, Baseball, Outdoor Activities
Family/Community: Married, 2 sons
Motto in life: Life is a one-time offer.

Born and raised in Sonora, Mexico, Taddei immigrated to the U.S. in 2014. He started in the produce industry in 2015 as a quality control agent, and later that year took an opportunity in sales with an organic produce distribution company in Nogales, where he completed a full season as a sales coordinator. In 2017, he started a position as a sales and logistics representative with Veg-Fresh Farms, of California, acting as the company’s first employee for its new location in Arizona. As part of the company’s expansion project, Taddei participated in the establishment and growth of the Nogales office, contributed to the expansion of the company’s distribution network, and successfully increased incoming volume through two full seasons. Currently, this distribution center is still successfully operating.

In 2019, he moved to an opportunity with his current employer, Marengo Farms, as national sales representative. Throughout his time in that position, he was able to successfully add new retail and key clients, resulting in increased sales revenue. In 2022, in recognition of his performance, he was promoted to his current role as senior sales representative. He is responsible for daily program sales to customers in the U.S. and Canada, performs continual follow up on programmed offerings, contracts and ads to customers, as well as on accounts receivable aging. He is also successfully developing West Coast distribution and is focused on making an impact for the company’s brand in the market.

Q: What attracted you to begin working in the produce industry?

I was struck by the dynamic nature of the industry when I moved to Nogales, and I saw so many opportunities and a lot of potential in the sales/customer service area.

Q: What do you know now you wish you knew when you first started your career?

How important this industry is for economic and social development, and the challenges involved in selling perishables.

Q: What is the one thing in your business you are most passionate about?

The opportunity to sell and distribute foods that are essential and good for health.

Q: What would you like consumers to know about the industry?

That we, as distributors, work hand-in-hand with regulators to harmonize rules for a level playing field, and that we provide food that complies with all health certificates and standards.

Q: How has the industry changed during your tenure?

There have been some technological changes that have contributed to the development of the industry, as well as changes in regulations, especially on tomatoes. Also, economic changes have had an impact on prices and costs for labor, raw materials and inputs.

Q: What advice would you give someone new to the produce industry?

It is a very dynamic industry. It can become very stressful, but it is very satisfying to know that we are working to improve well-being and health by distributing vegetables throughout the country. It’s worth getting involved in and the opportunities are huge.

Q: What do you see as a critical issue facing the industry in the next decade and why?

Labor shortage. It is turning into a challenge to find reliable workers for the industry and this could impact productivity. Resource availability, such as water, soil and nutrients, are limited and essential for production.