(Oct. 3) Produce Alliance LLC, Nashville, Tenn., added Black River Produce, Proctorsville, Vt., as a distributor Sept. 21, which fills a previous distribution void in Produce Alliance’s nearly nationwide coverage.

Black River — the largest privately held distributor in Vermont — was attractive because Produce Alliance had no firm representing Vermont and because Black River is an esteemed company, said Russ Wingo, director of sales and marketing for Produce Alliance.

“Black River Produce has proved to be a superior company that believes in providing the highest quality of produce and other fresh items to its customers,” Wingo said. “As far as sales coverage, it fills a gap we had.”

The merger also was beneficial to Black River because Produce Alliance’s services enable the company to stay current on what’s happening in the fresh produce market. Black River is allowing Produce Alliance to handle 40% to 50% of its volume, said Mark Curran, chief executive officer and co-founder of Black River.