Robert Verloop has joined North American vegetable grower-exporter Coastline Family Farms as chief operating officer and general manager.
Verloop, who most recently worked for eight years at fresh berry giant Naturipe Farms following nine years with the California Avocado Commission and seven years with Sunkist Growers, will take care of day-to-day operations at Coastline, including sales, marketing, finance and accounting, quality assurance, IT, food safety, packaging, new business development and strategic planning.
He will also join the group’s board of directors, helping to address strategic and long-term opportunities. Co-owner Larry Cox will continue to be actively involved as chief executive, specifically focusing on expanding the company’s farming operations.
“Coastline Family Farms continues to innovate and evolve as our industry addresses the opportunities and challenges of today’s dynamic marketplace,” Cox commented. “We decided now was the right time to expand our leadership team so we can better manage our growth and maintain our focus on premium products and services.”
Based in Salinas, California, Coastline Family Farms produces a wide range of vegetables – including asparagus, brassicas and leafy vegetables – across six growing regions in the US states of California and Arizona, as well as in Mexico.
Verloop, who began his career on the production side before moving into marketing, sales, business development and corporate management, said he relished the opportunity to work even more closely with growers.
“I am well acquainted with the daily challenges we face as growers, having worked throughout my career for organisations deeply rooted in supporting the livelihoods of multi-generational family farms,” he said, adding that Coastline had a “wonderful opportunity” to supply a range of healthy products that are in line with current trends and consumer demands.
“Today, consumers and chefs are increasingly more focused on fresh juicing, healthy snacks and more flavourful, interesting and exciting meals with vegetables in the spotlight and taking over ‘the centre of the plate’.
Co-owner Tina Cox said the organisation was “very excited” to have Robert on board. “Under his leadership we will continue to grow and evolve the company, and expand the availability of our product line to meet the needs of our customers,” she said.