Sutherland Produce Sales Inc. has named Chris Ford vice president.

He was previously global produce and floral purchasing team leader for seven years at Whole Foods Market, where he was responsible for procurement. Ford, who has spent 20 years in the organic produce industry, had earlier been a commodity manager at Earthbound Farm.

“Bill (Sutherland) has been a pioneer in the organic industry for almost 40 years, specializing in organically grown fruits and vegetables with an established network of growers and customers,” Ford said in a news release, referring to the president of El Cajon, Calif.-based Sutherland Produce Sales.

Ford, based in Carmel Valley, Calif., plans to focus on organic foods and related issues including social responsibility.

Besides procurement, his experience includes supply chain management, logistics and retail.