GR Fresh's Tony Incaviglia Talks Transition, Slight Delay in Torreón, MX, New Facility, and More
MEXICO - As Culiacán, Mexico, winds down for the season, GR Fresh is looking to the Torreón region to make its way into the next rotation of tomatoes and vegetables. While some markets will be smoother than others along the way, the enthusiasm for the change and the promise of quality resonates.
“Transition is a labor of love in our industry,” Tony Incaviglia, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, shares with me. “The love is in everything that is new. New plants, new region, new varieties, and new potential. The labor part is a challenge as always, working to make everything as seamless as possible. Despite our best efforts, there will be a couple gaps while some product markets will see no issues.”
One thing partners to GR Fresh will see is the bang coming out of its new, state-of-the-art facility in McAllen, Texas, which will be gaining momentum just in time for the transition.
“I have been in some of the most premier growing regions and have seen nothing like our new facility,” Tony says. “This is really something, and we are very excited to share the benefits with those we provide for.”
The top-of-the-line distribution center, which is opening with 50,000-square-feet to start with another 50,000-square-feet slated for Phase Two, will certainly impact service levels and distribution as GR Fresh continues to iron out the wrinkles Mother Nature might cause amid changing regions.
The gaps, while mild, will likely impact squash, peppers, and eggplant—which has seen a steady climb in demand over the past few years—while avocados, cucumbers, Roma tomatoes, and grape tomatoes look to have no bumps in the road for the weeks to come.
“Grape tomatoes in particular are looking good, and the Roma market is improving, which is great to see. The important thing is there seems to be some decent rhythm to the movement, product is rotating every couple days, demand has not returned to levels we would like but movement has improved. Meanwhile we are winding down on our veggies, and soil temperatures in Torreón are a little cooler than what we would like. Weather will dictate our start up as always, which might kick things off a little slower than usual and cause some delays,” Tony cautioned, adding that those delays will likely only slow the squash, peppers, and eggplant.
To sum up, Tony tells me, transition is a fun challenge, but still a challenge.
“This is the most dynamic and challenging industry, Murphy’s Law hangs over us every day between Mother Nature today and now we see more than ever freight costs impacting our future, but we will continue as always to do everything within our power to provide quality produce as consistently as possible, because consistency is key in keeping our relationships going,” Tony shares.
As the produce industry continues to work with Mother Nature to spite Murphy’s Law, our team will ensure you are in the know.