APRIL 2024 Produce Watch


Satyan Parameswaran

Baldor Specialty Foods

Baldor Specialty Foods, Bronx, NY, announced Satyan Parameswaran has joined the company as chief digital and innovation officer.

Parameswaran comes to Baldor after 21 years at United Parcel Service, where he most recently acted as the president of information technology.

Among his many credentials, Parmeswaran has made CIO Magazine’s list of the Top 100 CIOs for high-value programs in 2021, 2022 and 2023, and he has several patents attributed to his name.

Parmeswaran will manage his operations from Baldor’s Hunts Point headquarters, but will visit the company’s other businesses and hubs along the Mid-Atlantic service area on a regular basis.

Henry Dill

D’Arrigo California

D’Arrigo California, Salinas, CA, appointed Henry Dill as director of sales. With 18 years of experience in the fresh produce industry, Dill previously served as the multi-unit accounts director at Markon Cooperative, Inc.

As director of sales, Dill will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of daily sales operations, enhancing strategic partnerships, and implementing initiatives to strengthen customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Jensie Smith

Fox Packaging

Fox Packaging, McAllen, TX, welcomes Jensie Smith as the retail and key account manager, dedicated to enhancing customer service and providing support to the sales team. Reporting to Jen Doxey, director of sales, Jensie will concentrate on building lasting relationships with key accounts and prioritizing exemplary service.

In her role, Smith will manage a portfolio of key accounts, overseeing communication, streamlining artwork changes and guiding packaging programs.

John Pawlowski

Mission Produce

Mission Produce, Inc., Oxnard, CA, announced the appointment of John Pawlowski to president and chief operating officer. Steve Barnard will continue to serve as Mission Produce’s chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors.

Pawlowski joins Mission with more than 25 years in the global food and foodservice industry, specializing in business development, system optimization and executive team management. Pawlowski has a proven track record of leading international market growth strategies in large global organizations such as J.M. Smucker and Lipari Foods.

Pawlowski holds a Master of Business Administration from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Miami University.

Krystal Register, MS, RDN, LDN
Diane Gill
Steven Harris
Tom Cosgrove

Food Industry Association

FMI — The Food Industry Association, Arlington, VA, recently promoted several key staff members.

Krystal Register, MS, RDN, LDN, is promoted to vice president of health and well-being for her dedication and expertise in advancing initiatives that help connect the science of food and nutrition to overall health.

Diane Gill is appointed to controller and vice president of financial operations. In her role, Gill will continue to spearhead financial strategies and operations, with an added focus on leading the financial direction of FMI.

Steven Harris was named senior director of government relations and strategic initiatives. Harris’ deep understanding of policy and compliance issues, combined with his strategic vision, will further strengthen FMI’s relationships with government entities and drive impactful initiatives as he continues to advocate on behalf of the food industry.

Tom Cosgrove is appointed director of industry relations. Cosgrove’s leadership and industry knowledge helps build strong relationships and community for food industry asset protection, technology, supply chain, risk and safety, and private brand professionals while advancing industry collaboration.


South Texas Onion Committee Announces Campaign Launch

The South Texas Onion Committee (STOC), Mission, TX, kicked off the harvest for Texas 1015 Sweet Onions (TX1015) through a marketing campaign. The promotional activities, funded through a USDA-AMS Specialty Crop Block Grant administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture, aim to boost brand recognition and sales for TX1015s, targeting both retailers and consumers.

STOC will release a new video series, titled “Peeling Back the Layers of the TX1015.”

There will be a “Sizzlin’ Flavor” sweepstakes, monthly social media giveaways, a food influencer recipe contest, and the release of a cookbook.

For the second year, STOC will collaborate with Texas food legend David Elder of “Texas Eats.”

Orbis Enters into Agreement for Manufacturing Plant

ORBIS Corporation, Oconomowoc, WI, has announced it is entering into a lease-to-own agreement for manufacturing space in Greenville, TX, with EPM Partners of New York.

The agreement includes 420,000 square feet of manufacturing space that will be used to produce reusable pallets, totes and bulk containers.

Alpine Fresh Introduces Sweet Karoline Blackberries

Alpine Fresh, Miami, FL, introduced its newest blackberry variety, Sweet Karoline, at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

Alpine Fresh is well into its fourth season with this Mexican-grown berry. Sweet Karoline berries are available late January to June and will be in peak production through May.

Bedford Turns Produce Ties, Tags into Sustainable Plastic Lumber

Produce tie and tag manufacturer Bedford Industries, Worthington, MN, recently launched PolyScape by Bedford, an upcycled plastic lumber line that transforms post-consumer produce identification products into durable and versatile outdoor building materials.
PolyScape mimics the appearance of wood, but is durable and weather resistant.

The Minnesota manufacturer created PolyScape as a creative solution to address plastic waste. Eligible TagBack returns include Bedford’s produce identification products: produce ties, Bib Ties, ElastiTag, PushTag and CloseIt bag closures.

TagBack drop box locations more than quadrupled during the last year. There are currently 139 drop box sites across the U.S., which include grocery stores and co-ops, natural food stores and pet shops. More than 207,000 pounds of product has been upcycled since the program began in late 2019.

Equitable Food Initiative Launches Online Training

Equitable Food Initiative, Washington, D.C., is launching new online training products designed to share core social responsibility concepts that build the capacity of workers and managers in the fresh produce industry.

Aligned with the Ethical Charter on Responsible Labor Practices, the trainings offer a variety of learning formats to suit individual needs and schedules. From a series of one-hour seminars to intensive customized courses, participants can choose the best format for their learning style and busy schedules.

The trainings range from free webinars to affordable one-hour seminars to multi-session workshops. Currently, courses are scheduled for various dates through June, and registration is open.

GEM-Pack and BADP America Sign Sustainable Packaging Initiative

GEM-Pack Berries, Irvine, CA, and BADP (Bio Accelerated Degradable Plastic) America, Los Angeles, CA, have announced the signing of a letter of intent to jointly develop an eco-friendly, sustainable packaging solution for strawberries.

This initiative will leverage microbial induced enzyme additive technology to set new standards in environmental stewardship within the agricultural sector.

Produce & Floral Watch are regular features of Produce Business. Please send information on new products, personnel changes, industry, corporate and personal milestones and available literature, along with a high resolution image to: Managing Editor, Produce Business, P.O. Box 810425, Boca Raton, FL 33481-0425 or email us at info@producebusiness.com.