Seald Sweet Joins the Florida Department of Agriculture and Florida Growers for a Military Produce Group Commissary Farm Tour
VERO BEACH, FL - Seald Sweet, along with a group of Florida fresh produce growers, have joined forces with The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Military Produce Group (MPG) to sponsor the fourth annual “Fresh From Florida” farm tour. The tour was held for fresh produce managers and store directors from the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), for continued education on the diversity of crops grown on Florida farms.
Headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, MPG procures and distributes produce to the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) for all eastern US military bases. According to a press release, the commissaries are a core support element of US military families and a valued part of military benefit.
These produce managers, store directors, and DeCA zone representatives toured through different crops and operations, including blueberries at Dole Blueberry Farm, peaches at Florida Classic Growers, citrus at Seald Sweet’s Florida packinghouse Hunt Brothers Cooperative, and potatoes and watermelons at Mack Farms.
"These farm tours are very beneficial to MPG and the DeCA commissaries,” said Randy Brittain, Director of Procurement for Military Produce Group. “Meeting with our growers and evaluating the crops is so valuable. We always come away from these farm tours with opportunities to increase our sales and promotions. This tour is special in that we have store Florida commissary directors, produce managers and the zone manager with us, so they are able to see the sales opportunities first hand and can provide great support at the store level. They will also leave with a better perspective and appreciation of what it takes to get these products to their stores."
Florida’s 47,000 farms produce over 300 different agricultural commodities. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services administer marketing efforts on behalf of the state’s agriculture industries through its “Fresh From Florida” program.
“We are so pleased and very fortunate to have this opportunity again,” says Kim Flores, Director of Marketing at Seald Sweet. “The DeCA produce managers and store directors are very knowledgeable of promoting product at the point of sale, specifically in the commissary environment. It is beneficial for them to see the procurement process from the ground up, to further develop their understanding of the processes involved in the supply chain.” Flores continues, “We always look forward to engaging with this group of talent and we want to do whatever we can to support the commissaries and the military families who shop there. This is an important benefit to them and we are privileged to provide fresh produce for these consumers.”
Chris Denmark, Development Representative, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services added that being able to bring buyers, merchandisers, and growers together on the farm is a great opportunity for the agency to showcase Florida’s agriculture.