Wenatchee-based CMI Orchards has entered into a partnership with Independent Warehouse to expand pear distribution to domestic and international retailers.
According to a statement, Independent will continue to grow and pack, while CMI will serve as the sales and marketing agent domestically and internationally.
The partnership will add over 600,000 cartons of pears to CMI’s selling power, delivering Bartlett, Bosc, Red and Green D’Anjou pears to retail customers.
“We identified a growing need to increase our supply of pears to satisfy our customers’ needs and Independent was unmistakably a perfect fit for our long-term strategic growth plan,” said Bob Mast, president of CMI Orchards.
Sarah Barkley, sales manager for CMI Orchards who oversees the company’s pear programme, spoke of the "unparalleled opportunity" the partnership brings.
"The product quality at Independent Warehouse is impeccable and their commitment to delivering an exceptional eating experience to consumers is unrivalled. All of their pears are grown within a three-mile radius of their warehouse and every employee is hands on.”
The partnership with the third-generation company has allowed CMI Orchards to increase its supply to meet market demand.
“Our core competencies include growing, packing, storing, and shipping. CMI brings the same drive, passion, and work ethic to the table every day as we do and most importantly, they make all decisions in the best interest of the growers as well as their retail partners," explained Andrew Peterson of Independent Warehouse. "We wanted to be aligned with a company who puts people first.”
In addition to the partnership with Independent Warehouse, CMI continues to import Southern Hemisphere pears from partners in Argentina.
Kleppe grows pears that are branded under the Gaucho label, that are packed into CMI’s Sweet Gourmet Pears label, and PAI grows organic pears that are packed into CMI’s Southern Hemisphere Daisy Girl Organics label.