(Aug. 29, 2:20 p.m.) The addition of two Guatemalan melon growing operations to its production roster should help Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc. expand sales.

The Coral Gables, Fla.-based Del Monte acquired the growing operations in early August, said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing.

“It reinforces our leadership position during the offshore melon season,” Christou said. “We believe this demonstrates our commitment in the core categories in which we are willing to invest in and expand.”

Christou said the acquisition won’t necessarily represent an incremental increase in shipments to the U.S., because the growers had previously exported their melons to the U.S. through other companies.

The two operations provide Del Monte with a combined 5 million boxes of cantaloupes and honeydews during the upcoming offshore melon season, which normally starts in late November and runs through the end Mid May.

In late June, Del Monte bought the melon production assets of a Costa Rican melon grower, adding 3 million boxes to Del Monte’s program.