ATLANTA — Colorful Harvest LLC has added hundreds of acres of land in Florida and a business development veteran to solidify its year-round berry capabilities.

The Salinas, Calif.-based marketer has acquired more than 500 acres and 10 ranches, as well as a new cooler operation in Plant City, Fla., Doug Ranno, chief operating officer and managing member, said Oct. 16 during Fresh Summit 2011.

The additions in Florida complement the company’s expansion of its Mexican strawberry program and its increased volume of blackberries from Mexico, he said.

“Our new winter berry expansion will transition perfectly into our new California strawberry ranches in Santa Maria and Salinas,” Ranno said.

The 50,000-square-foot cooler will provide Colorful Harvest growers and customers multiple product cooling and loading at a single location, he said, adding that Colorful Harvest’s Florida operations also are adding a vegetable program that involves seasonal red corn, green beans and squash.

Colorful Harvest adds berry acreage, cooler in FloridaNew to the Colorful Harvest staff is Steven Johnston, who will serve as business development manager specializing in strawberry and blueberry sales, Ranno said.

Johnston is a fifth-generation Salinas native and brings 38 years of produce industry experience in a variety of commodities — including berries and vegetables — from previous positions at Blazer Wilkinson, Pacific Gold Farms, J.R. Norton and Bruce Church, Ranno said.