Ray Sheriff has been named Midwest regional merchandiser for Ruthven, Ontario, Canada-based Clifford Produce.

Sheriff started Nov. 18 in the newly created position. Before that he was a retail produce merchandiser for Kansas City, Kan.-based Associated Wholesale Grocers, where he worked for 17 years.

He will remain based in Kansas City and cover a territory from Des Moines, Iowa, to Houston, according to a news release. Sheriff will roll out Clifford’s new Superseller display units and Eco Trays to retail partners.

Merchandising initiatives led to the new role, said Anthony Totta, director of marketing and business development.

“Clifford’s primary marketing focus has been on creating consumer-friendly packaging, tying in with extended shelf life, recipes and nutritional information,” Totta said. “In the process of doing that, we introduced some corrugated merchandising pieces and other tools for retailers. We thought it was important to take someone like Ray who is used to working face to face with retailers and incorporate him into our program.

“Grower-shippers invest a lot in bringing talent to shipping points to contact the trade and sell what they have to offer,” Totta said. “We feel that it’s going to be most effective to focus again on the consumer and the presentation of our product at the retail level.”

Sheriff has worked in the produce industry since 1973. Prior to that, he was part owner and manager of Sheriff and Sons grocery stores in South America.

Clifford Produce’s Superseller displays are stand-alone units that introduce new items without requiring a category reset, according to the company. They also allow retailers to demonstrate items or cross-merchandise.

Eco Trays are biodegradable trays that feature response codes allowing consumers to access nutritional data and recipes on mobile phones, and providing retailers with product information and merchandising support.

The company markets under the Clifford Produce, Paysanne, and new Family Farms labels.

Clifford Produce names Midwest merchandiser