Berry Providers Sun Belle and Giddings Fruit Mexico Announce Long-Term Agreement
- by Anne Allen
SCHILLER PARK, IL - Is there anything sweeter than a new partnership? We at ANUK believe it’s possible—but only by doubling down on that sentiment with the expansion of an existing one. Sun Belle and Giddings Fruit Mexico jointly announced a long-term exclusive marketing and distribution agreement whereby Sun Belle will market all of Giddings' conventional and organic blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. The agreement solidifies Sun Belle’s 18-year relationship with Giddings Fruit and is expected to extend the reach of Sun Belle and Giddings Fruit Mexico as principal producers and distributors of berries worldwide.
“This agreement completely aligns the two companies in their shared mission of providing top-quality berries to consumers reliably and in good quantities,” stated Janice Honigberg, President and Founder of Sun Belle. “For example, we are excited to be marketing peak production through May of the new Aketzali blackberry variety that Giddings developed.”
Giddings has 322 hectares of conventional and 40 hectares of organic Aketzali in production in very good quantities through the end of May. The grower’s state-of-the-art tissue culture propagation lab and extensive nurseries support its own farms and varietal development programs as well as its grower partners.
“The Aketzali is a very sweet blackberry with good size and little regression. It is an excellent alternative to the Tupy variety, which we pioneered together starting in 2003,” Patricio Cortes, General Manager and Co-Founder of Giddings Mexico, said. “While the Tupy is no longer a productive variety, it established Mexico as the largest blackberry grower and shipper in the world.”
According to a press release, Sun Belle has a first-class structure and reliable distribution of products through its four distribution centers in the U.S. Sun Belle expressed equal excitement about the new partnership as it will help both growers bring superb berries to the market.
“The Aketzali blackberry has excellent flavor and appearance while presenting fewer growing and shipping challenges than earlier varieties,” Honigberg continued. “Bringing excellent quantities of Aketzali to market this spring is just the beginning of closer work between Sun Belle and Giddings in developing and marketing other superb blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry varieties next season and in seasons to come.”
Sun Belle is a year-round marketer of a full line of organic and conventional berries and pomegranate arils, principally sold under the Sun Belle and Green Belle brands.
“This new, strengthened relationship between our two companies further integrates the work of Giddings Mexico and Sun Belle at all levels—from top management to sales, logistics, and most importantly, varietal innovation and development,” continued Cortes. “The Sun Belle team brings years of experience and as a result is able to meet the demands of the market with production throughout the year from all major growing regions.”
Sun Belle supports retail, club, wholesale, and foodservice customers throughout North America, Europe, and Asia with distribution centers in Schiller Park, Illinois; Jessup, Maryland; Oxnard, California; and Miami, Florida. The company is recognized for its commitment and service to its customers, its dedication to quality, and its ability to fulfill mixed berry programs.
Giddings is a leading integrated grower and shipper of conventional and organic berries in the states of Michoacán, Jalisco, Guanajuato, and Sinaloa, Mexico.
For more sweet partnerships in the produce sector, keep reading AndNowUKnow.