(Oct. 6) NOGALES, Ariz. — A produce industry veteran and a major Nogales winter vegetable grower-shipper have formed a consolidation organization to help produce companies source product out of Nogales.

Francisco Obregon, president of Obregon & Associates Inc., a Nogales-based produce consulting business, has partnered with Malena Produce Inc. in creating IPR Solutions LLC, a produce consolidating and logistics operation.

On a typical day, Obregon said, trucks drive from one shipper to another, making many stops picking up multiple loads, causing headaches for retailers, foodservice and the trucking companies.

“When you consolidate everything, you’re going to be able to tell the customer the exact information on when the truck left. Otherwise, nobody knows if the truck left, took the highway or went to pick up another load,” he said.

“There are so many requirements in the industry with consolidation of retailers and a lot of the new trends the produce industry is getting. There is a need in Nogales for someone that can provide those services.”

Gonzalo Avila, Malena’s general manager, said the partnership will provide both companies new business.

“It will act as a buying arm for products we don’t have from our growers base so we can better service our clients through a one-stop shop,” he said.

The company, formed during the spring, officially announced its opening to coincide with the start of the Nogales winter produce deal, which starts in late October.