GR Fresh's Tony Incaviglia Talks Programs and Transition
- by Kayla Webb
MCALLEN, TX – As 2017 comes to a close, the new year once again provides opportunities for those in the produce industry to break into new markets and build off of existing programs. Looking to 2018 to continue the expansion of its western veg, value-added, and organic programs, GR Fresh’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Tony Incaviglia shares the company’s goal to continue to make a place for itself in the U.S. market and the status of the upcoming winter transition.
“We’re traditional farmers at heart, and in the past, we grew to provide quality and consistency, and then we concerned ourselves with who and where to market our goods,” Tony tells me. “However, we’re evolving our focus, developing true partnerships and relationships that include custom growing, and providing more value-added items to meet that rising demand in the market. We also have an opportunity to develop our western veg program—there’s a lot of potential for western veg out of this part of the country.”
Expanding categories like iceberg lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, romaine, and red and green leafs, GR Fresh is looking to western veg to provide more value and consumer options under its brand name as it spreads to additional U.S. retailers.
With a vision to be a sustainable industry leader, GR Fresh is not only meeting retail and consumer demand by expanding its organics program, but also illustrating its deep-rooted respect for the environment, its employees, and its neighboring communities.
“Currently, demand for organically produced goods continues to show double-digit growth, which is providing market incentives for farmers across a broad range of products. Organic sales account for over 4 percent of total U.S. food sales, so it is just good business sense to want to be a part of such a dynamic category,” Tony adds.
The USDA organic sticker increasingly found on GR Fresh’s produce is a product of the good relationships the company has in place. Currently, GR Fresh is transitioning selections like bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and more, with some options like grape tomatoes currently in the third and final transition year in the process of becoming certified organic.
Also in transition is GR Fresh’s winter harvest, which will be occurring over the next thirty days, from Torreon growing region to Culiacan and other surrounding Mexican regions.
“Right now, we need Mother Nature to step in, and so far she has,” Tony says. “Weather has been really good with no hiccups. It was a little warm there for some time, around the 90s, but it's settled down now to comfortable growing temperatures.”
This year, Tony expects several million cartons of tomatoes and veg items, including Roma, round and grape tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash, will be grown, packed, and shipped to GR distribution locations and sold throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
With the transition happening soon, keep your eyes peeled for GR Fresh’s expanded western veg, value-added, and organic and conventional products as it looks to compete in the U.S. market. And kick off the upcoming New Year with the flavors of Mexico with GR Fresh’s many varieties!
For more on the happenings within the produce industry, stay up-to-date with AndNowUKnow.