Nogales, Ariz.-based Farmer’s Best has unveiled a new 23,000-square-foot distribution center at the Rio Grande Produce Center in Edinburg, Texas.

The warehouse, which opened Feb. 15, and adjacent land was secured with the expectation of greater mango volumes — up to 2.5 million boxes annually — and expanded annual shipments of their produce via the Port of McAllen in Texas.

Starting in March, Farmer’s Best will help retail personnel educate customers using new header cards, Jerry Wagner, director of sales and marketing for the company, said in a news release.

The company also plans to use specific studies by UC Davis professors to emphasize mango ripening and handling with topics such as:

  • How to avoid transportation/storage damage to fruit;
  • Learning key indicators of ripeness and quality; and
  • Why it’s important to deliver the best taste to consumers, and how to do it.

“Our one-page guides are popular with busy produce personnel because we encapsulate complex technical information and provide quick tips that can make a difference in sales,” Wagner said in the news release.

As mangoes from Mexico make increasing strides into the U.S. marketplace in March and April, Farmer’s Best enters the second phase of its retail education effort.

The program was launched last season.

“While mango consumption has increased close to 10% over the past year, over 60% of consumers buying them still don’t know how to select ripe fruit. This means that education remains critical for ensuring increased category sales,” Wagner said.