Pure Fresh expands import programmes

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Gill McShane

BY GILL McSHANE

Pure Fresh expands import programmes

More South American berries and Guatemalan vegetables will be available to the US and Canada thanks to production growth

Pure Fresh expands import programmes

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Pure Fresh, the import and marketing arm of Guatemalan grower Planesa, is expanding its berry and vegetable import programmes from Chile, Mexico and Guatemala thanks to major advances in its produce operations.

The Miami-based company has made significant increases in its blackberry and French green bean production in Guatemala and is also expanding its berry operations in Chile and Mexico, according to a company press release.

Furthermore, the group said it is taking advantage of the lifting of a seasonal ban on exporting berries from Guatemala to Canada.

“Production in Guatemala increased by 33 per cent in 2012, and consumers in Canada will now be able to enjoy signature Pure Fresh blackberries year-round as a result of successful negotiations to lift the 20-year-old ban on berry exports from Guatemala between 15 March and 15 August,” explained Roberto Castaneda senior, the founder of Pure Fresh and Planesa.

“In addition, this year we have added another 30 per cent in acreage for French green bean production under tunnels, which will greatly increase our volumes and quality during the Guatemalan season,” he added.

In addition, Pure Fresh will this season be offering strawberries from Mexico to fill the production gaps on the US market.

Pure Fresh-branded blackberries from Mexico should also arrive in November in time for holiday promotions given that the Mexican blackberry season started about 20 days earlier this year, according to Castaneda.

This year, Planesa has also added two new farms in Mexico and opened a Chile-based subsidiary called Planesa Chile to extend its Pure Fresh blueberry operations.

Pure Fresh distributes Planesa’s blueberries from Miami, Florida, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, under the Pure Fresh label in consumer-friendly, see-through clamshell packages.

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