Tag Archives: Produce Industry

GROW Scholar Takes Leadership Role at Organics Unlimited

Organics Unlimited Logo

San Diego, CA (March 18, 2014) – Alberto Ramirez Rivera, former GROW scholar who graduated in 2012 from the University of Colima with a major in agronomy, has recently joined the farming operations of Organics Unlimited. Ramirez is the new general manager of production at Rancho El Tesoro, the company-owned banana farms in southern Mexico.

“We are excited to have Alberto as a part of our growing team in Mexico,” said Organics Unlimited President Mayra Velazquez de Leon. “He was an outstanding student and a natural leader from the time he joined the GROW program in junior high school. When the position became available, we sought him out based on what we had previously seen with his interest and commitment both to our program and with his work ethic.”

Beto, Production Manager

In his new position, Ramirez is responsible for the quality of the fruit, from planting through harvesting. This includes the application of organic fertilizers, protection from pests and quality control at harvest. “Throughout my studies I have had a passion for organic growing and the benefits for both the workers and the environment,” said Ramirez. “I am very proud to be part of this great organization.” Ramirez worked as a young boy on banana farms in the local area, and is one of 44 students who have now completed university studies through the GROW program.

The GROW program was started by Organics Unlimited in 2005 to help the communities in the areas where their bananas are grown. Since that time, the program has provided over $750,000 for programs in Mexico and Ecuador that cover a variety of social issues: education from elementary to university level students, safe drinking water, vision clinics, dental clinics and early childhood education. All funding for GROW is through a small surcharge on the sale of GROW bananas.

U.S. Produce Aisles Experience Volume and Sales Growth

U.S. Produce Aisles Experience Volume and Sales Growth

Revenue from U.S. produce departments rose 4.8% in 2013, averaging $47,000 per week, reported United Fresh in its annual FreshFacts on Retail.

Average weekly dollar sales grew 4.5% for fruit in comparison to 2012. For vegetables, all top 10 categories also experienced an increase in weekly dollar sales, alongside value-added fruit and fresh-cut fruit. Continue reading

The Expanding World of Organics

The Expanding World of Organics

What motivates a shopper to try an organic product can vary from shopping cart to shopping cart. The definition of the typical organic shopper is becoming blurry as more consumers experiment with the segment. Continue reading

Taste the Difference: Sample Organic Bananas to Kids

Taste the Difference Sample Organic Bananas to Kids

They say the way into the heart is through their stomach, which is why sampling your products is one of the best tactics to influence your consumers to buy. With so much debate on GMO, food productions, and health conscious options, organic bananas are the perfect choice to sample in your store. And to gain the maximum amount of customers your best bet is to reach out to children. Continue reading

Organics Unlimited Expands Team Amid Emerging Market

Organics Unlimited Logo

San Diego, CA (February 18, 2014) – Organics Unlimited Inc. has announced the hiring of Marco A. Garcia as Manager of Operations and Logistics and George Pazos as Controller to further its pursuit of becoming one of the largest competitors in the market for organic bananas.

OU Bananas – Marco Garcia (Left) and George Pazos (Right)

Organics Unlimited President Mayra Velazquez de Leon recognizes the growing trend in organic products. “We have an incredible opportunity in this emerging market, and we wish to not only continue our excellence in product quality and customer service, but further expand our distribution across the U.S. and international markets. George and Marco are here to do just that.” In addition, Mayra believes, “George and Marco are making an immediate impact in the company, capitalizing on our national brand recognition and expanding our distribution centers across the country.”

Marco brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in supply chain management and a passion for superior customer service. He was previously the Regional Logistics Manager for six years at Heineken Mexico where he managed the company’s supply chain in adherence to compliance and quality assurance. “I pledge to promote continued growth by reinforcing our company’s prestige and image through excellent customer service,” said Garcia.

George Pazos has over ten years of financial and human resources experience in multiple industries. Earlier in his career, George served as a purveyor of fine fruits and vegetables for Andrews Produce Company. In his most recent positions, he was the Payroll Specialist and Human Resources Manager for M Bar C Construction as well as the Human Resources and Purchasing Director for Marine Group Boat Works. “I am inspired by Organics Unlimited’s dedication to social responsibility. A major factor for my joining the team was the GROW program and the wonderful opportunities it provides for farm workers,” said Pazos.

Organic products are becoming increasingly popular among consumers in the United States. According to a USDA report released on October 24, 2013, industry analysts estimate that U.S. organic food sales were $28 billion in 2012 (over 4 percent of total at-home food sales), up 11 percent from 2011. The organic industry is predicted to generate an estimated 42 billion U.S. dollars in 2014. In addition, the top U.S. organic product imports in 2013 were bananas, which valued close to $215 million.

Organics Unlimited Increases Organic Banana Plantings in Mexico

Organics Unlimited Increases Organic Banana Plantings in Mexico

With an eye on expanding its market and buoyed by strong demand, Organics Unlimited has increased its organic banana acreage.

“Organics Unlimited is an organic banana grower in Mexico, and we also pack and import all of our bananas to the United States for distribution there,” said Mayra Velazquez de Leon, who, with her husband, Manuel, owns and operates Organics Unlimited in San Diego. “Distribution is from our warehouse in San Diego, where we sell to both chains who have ripening capabilities and wholesalers who ripen.” Continue reading

Great Tips for Marketing Bananas to Kids

Marketing Bananas to Kids

It’s a New Year, a new you. With resolutions of health in mind for ourselves, why can’t we help our children learn the benefits of being healthy too? We learn from an early age from our parents the lifestyle choices that shape our decisions throughout life. So let’s help parents make the nutritious choice for their kids and teach them the power of bananas. Continue reading

Study: Teens Buying More Organic

Study Teens Buying More Organic

A wide-ranging study of teen consumption trends states that more teens are choosing organic food compared with two years ago.

Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray & Co. recently released its 26th semi-annual “Taking Stock With Teens” consumer research project . The study found that 39% of teens reported they ate organic food compared with 33% two years ago. Continue reading

Retail Organic Demand Strong in Third Quarter

Retail Organic Demand Strong in Third Quarter

A new retail produce department sales report shows big double-digit gains for fresh organic fruits and vegetables in the third quarter compared with a year ago.

The FreshFacts on Retail report, developed in partnership by Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association with Coral Gables, Fla.-based Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc. and Chicago-based Nielsen Perishables Group, tracks quarterly retail sales performance of fresh produce retail sales. Continue reading

Highway Eases Path to Texas for Shippers

Highway Eases Path to Texas for Shippers

The long awaited completion of the Mazatlan-Durango Highway offers fresh produce shippers an easier way to move product from Sinaloa to the McAllen, Texas, area. The opening of the $2.1 billion highway, more than a decade under construction, was marked by Mexican authorities in an Oct. 17 ceremony. Continue reading