TRAVER, Calif. — San Joaquin Valley-based Scattaglia Growers & Shippers LLC is kicking off the new year with the launch of a South American import program.

Products include cherries and other stone fruit and table grapes.

“We’ve decided to expand based on demands from our customers that they want full service, year-round programs,” said Louis Scattaglia, managing partner. “We’re bringing in products that will enhance our domestic program.”

Helping to coordinate the program is a new Los Angeles office, SGS Imports, and the father-son team of Andres and Camilo Orsini, who have more than 20 years of experience importing fresh produce from South America, Scattaglia said. SGS Imports will be in charge of procuring all products from South America, he said.

“We’ve established relationships with a great lineup of growers in Chile and Peru,” Scattaglia said.

Expansion drives Scattaglia Growers & Shippers

Don Schrack

The logo of Scattaglia Growers & Shippers LLC, Traver, Calif., graces the front door of the company’s just completed expansion of its administrative and sales offices.

Growers include Agro Paracas S.A., Frusan, Frutera San Fernando S.A., Scramble Group (also known as Agricola Ben David), Verfrut S.A. and Agricola Los Mayos Ldta.

“As we are domestically, all of our South American growers are GlobalGAP certified,” Scattaglia said.

Scattaglia Growers & Shippers will handle all sales of imported and domestic produce.

“We’re also introducing a whole new product for SGS, asparagus, which we’re bringing in by air and sea to both coasts,” Scattaglia said.

The first shipments of green and white Peruvian asparagus arrived in the U.S. in October. Agro Paracas is the main supplier of the asparagus, Scattaglia said, and it complements supplies from Mexico and domestic sources.

Air cargo shipments of fresh cherries began arriving in Los Angeles and Miami in November. The first ship containing cherries and other stone fruit is scheduled to reach Philadelphia Dec. 16, he said, with the first West Coast ship scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles by Dec. 20.

Cherry shipments will continue through January, and apricot, nectarine, peach and plum imports will continue into early April when the harvest of early domestic varieties should begin, Scattaglia said. The result will be 11 months of promotable stone fruit supplies, he said.

The addition of multiple varieties of South American table grapes to the company’s Mexico and California sources will make for a non-ending season.

“We’ll have seamless transitions,” Scattaglia said. “We’ll be able to supply our customers with grapes 365 days a year.”

The first shipment of the offshore grapes is scheduled to arrive in early January.

The Traver headquarters recently expanded, more than tripling square footage, Scattaglia said, with administrative offices, a new sales department and a conference room.