Fresh produce marketing company Vanguard International has opened an office in Bakersfield, California.
Operating as Vanguard Fresh California, the North American expansion will complement the company’s sales and distribution of its production as well as enhance its import programme into North America.
The new office follows Vanguard’s acquisition of leading Peruvian grape and citrus producer Agricola Challapampa in April last year, where new plantings of proprietary seedless grape and mandarin varieties are being established for Vanguard’s global customers.
“Establishing a presence in California is an exciting step in Vanguard’s growth and mission to supply fresh, quality-assured produce 365 days a year,” said Craig Stauffer, CEO Vanguard International. “The timing was right, with significant increases in volumes of our popular grape varieties coming into production in Peru over the next few years.”
Gene Coughlin will lead the team as vice president of sales, joined by Shawn Caldwell as sales manager and Denise Smith as sales support manager.
Coughlin said he looked forward to building Vanguard’s presence in California and ensuring “consumers across North America will have access to our popular varieties of grapes throughout the year”.
“In addition to representing Vanguard Fresh California, we’ll be working with a number of Vanguard’s historical strategic grower partners to market their fruit into North America as well,” Coughlin said.
Vanguard was founded in 1991 and has since expanded as an international marketer and seller of fresh fruit and vegetables, with offices in Chile, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, Spain, Taiwan, South Africa, and the US.