Ayco Farms preps more cooler space

Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Ayco Farms Inc. planned to open new storage capacity in December, said Lou Kertesz Jr., category manager for melons.

“The coolers are not up and running so we’re using a secondary source for storage,” he said Nov. 26.

“When it’s completed, hopefully within the next couple weeks, we’ll have about an 80,000-square foot brand new warehouse under refrigeration.”

Brooks, Fresh King set for Uniq fruit crop

Uniq fruit — sometimes marketed under the Ugli trademark and often described as Jamaican tangelos — started production in Jamaica in early December, said Alvaro Perpuly, Homestead, Fla.-based Fresh King’s general manager. It goes to April.

“We’re expecting about 60,000 30-pound boxes,” Perpuly said. “That’s about normal. Last year it was hard to keep them on the shelf.”

“Uniq fruit is grown in Jamaica, which was hit by Hurricane Sandy,” said Mary Ostlund, director of marketing for Brooks Tropicals, Homestead, Fla.

“Luckily for us, our fields are on the leeward side of the island. Our trees didn’t sustain a lot of damage.”

J&C Tropicals ventures into asian vegetables

Miami-based J&C Tropicals has started offering asian vegetables on a trial basis.

“Right now it’s still experimental in that we’re trying it out for the first time,” said Jessie Capote, a partner.

“We’re dipping our toes in the water.”

The company has importing modest volumes of Guatemalan- and Dominican Republic-grown snow peas, sugar snap peas, bitter melon, Chinese eggplant, Thai eggplant and others.