(April 20) Burbank, Calif.-based Disney Corp. and Imagination Farms LLC of Indianapolis, on April 12 formally announced the launch of the Disney Garden-branded fresh produce this summer.

Matthew Caito, chief executive officer of Imagination Farms, first revealed the Disney licensing agreement on April 1 at the Produce for Better Health board meeting in San Francisco.

While starting initially with stone fruit in June, Caito envisions 200 stock keeping units of Disney Garden-brand produce by the end of 2007.

“This is a very significant play and will represent a large proportion of total packages shipped in the industry,” Caito said.

He said the Disney Garden fresh produce line will touch all categories, including whole commodities, value added, conventional and organic fruits and vegetables. He said the marketing effort will have access to classic and recent Disney characters, including some Disney Pixar characters.

Caito said Imagination Farms won’t be a transactional company. Approved suppliers and shippers who enter into a license agreement will market directly to retailers, he said.

The Disney Garden brand will be positioned as a premium brand at a reasonable price, Caito said.

Commodities that will follow stone fruit with a Disney brand include sliced apples, grapes, apples, berries, value-added vegetables, citrus, salads, bananas and other fruits and vegetables. By Labor Day, Caito said the Disney Garden line will have a more comprehensive product rollout.