Vice President of Sales
Nardelli Bros. Inc.- Lake View Farms: Cedarville, NJ
Years in Produce:
Hobbies: Golf; basketball; boating
Motto in life: “Fresher by Miles”
Work History: Nardelli began working for his family’s business at 14 in all areas, from field, packing house, loading facilities and transportation to office management. In 2011, he graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in food and agriculture business management. Upon graduation, he worked full-time at the family business holding various positions. From 2003 to 2007, he worked in harvest production and packing house, assisting in both harvest and post-harvest operations. From 2008 to 2011, he moved to shipping and transportation. From 2012-2014, he worked in sales and marketing, handling many national retail and foodservice customers. He focused on branding and marketing of Nardelli Bros. and registered “Fresher by Miles” as a trademark. In 2015, he was promoted to vice president of sales. While at Nardelli, he has updated the traceability of products, improved on food safety by gaining Primus and USDA certification, and has made developments in packaging for value-added items for retail and foodservice. He has expanded into Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, with increasing acreage to support a year-long program.
Questions & Answers:
Q: How did you begin working in produce?
I have always been around the produce industry. My biggest motivator would be my Father, Bill Sr. I have always aspired to be like him and continue in his path. Being able to work with family is a great blessing.
Q: What aspect of the business challenged you the most early on?
As a young person in the produce business, it often takes a few years to gain the trust of employees and customers. Once you prove you can do the job and you gain that trust, the business becomes much more enjoyable.
Q: What industry improvements would you like to see?
With increased technology and the use of computers, customer interaction is limited via phone or in person. It is often hard to describe fruit and vegetable quality over e-mail. I feel with more customer and supplier interaction we could better serve the end consumer.
Q: What advice would you give someone new to the produce industry?
It is important for anyone looking at a career in produce to fully understand the entire supply chain, from field to consumer. It is important to gain as much knowledge as possible of each aspect of business.
Q: What do you think the industry can do to promote more produce consumption?
As consumers continue to be driven to more convenience packaging, we are continuing to expand our packaging offerings. With health awareness continuing to become more important to consumers we also see that as a driving force in increased consumption.
Q: What was the “aha” moment when you knew produce was the industry for you?
I enjoy the fast-paced mentality of the produce business. The biggest reward is seeing the product grown from planting through harvest and delivery and finally onto the consumers’ dinner plate.
Q: What is the most critical “hot button” issue facing the industry in the next decade?
The biggest issue going forward will be labor. Due to the labor-intensive nature of many of the items, it will be crucial to see how the government will handle labor going forward. Increased mechanization of agriculture will play a large role as well in relation to the labor shortages we are currently facing.
Q: How has the industry (or you) changed in your tenure?
It is important to continue to be positive. Being in a perishable industry, there will always be problems and challenges. Being able to step over these problems is key to continuing a career in this business.