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Maura Maxwell



Wednesday 30th October 2013, 05:10 Central Time

Mission offloads asparagus business

President Steven Barnard said the firm has chosen to specialise in its core avocado business

Mission offloads asparagus business

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Mission Produce has sold its asparagus business to Los Angeles-based Progressive Produce so that it can focus on its expanding avocado programme. The deal, effective immediately, involves Mission’s import business from Mexico and Peru, as well as local supplies. It will significantly increase Progressive’s presence in the asparagus category.

“Our asparagus growers and customers are too important for us to leave this business without a plan to turn it over to a first-class operation that shares our values of honouring commitments and great customer service,” Steven Barnard, Mission’s president, said in a press release. “We sought out Progressive as the company we wanted to transition it to from the very start.”

Until a few years ago, Progressive was mainly a potato and onion grower. It moved into the asparagus business in the middle of last decade through its partnership with Keystone Fruit Marketing. “We had a plan to increase our acreage every year in order to be a solid year-round grower in this commodity when we began our programme,” the company’s president Jim Leimkuhler said. “The addition of Mission’s excellent growers will accelerate that plan and we are excited about it.”

Through its partnership with Keystone, Progressive imports asparagus from Peru, and has its own production in Mexico, California and Washington.


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