Two staffers move up at Brooks Tropicals

Brooks Tropicals Inc., Homestead, Fla., has promoted two of its staffers.

Business updates: Florida Avocados

Courtesy Brooks Tropicals

Homestead, Fla.-based
Brooks Tropicals Inc. promoted Sam Skogstad from purchased fruit manager to director of sourcing and Sue Garcia from purchased fruit assistant to saleswoman.

The grower-shipper in early May promoted Sam Skogstad from purchased fruit manager to director of sourcing. Aside from growing Brooks’ import business, Skogstad will develop Brooks’ Belize papaya program.

The company is planning to significantly expand its McAllen, Texas, crossings of Belize papayas during the next couple of years, said Mary Ostlund, director of marketing.

Skogstad has worked for Brooks since 2001.

Sue Garcia, who was a purchased fruit assistant, is now a saleswoman.

Garcia works with many customers, including West Coast and terminal market buyers. Garcia joined Brooks in 2007.

(Note on correction: Due to a misunderstanding between a writer and
source, this story in the third and fourth paragraphs incorrectly stated
the type of papayas shipped by Homestead, Fla.-based Brooks Tropicals

Belize-grown papayas cross the Mexican border at Brooks’ McAllen, Texas,

J&C Tropicals expands avocado acreage

J&C Tropicals Inc., Miami, has doubled its avocado acreage.

At 300 acres, the grower-shipper of avocados and tropicals has 200 of its own avocado acres and sells for other growers, who grow on 100 acres, said Peter Leifermann, sales and category manager.

“We are getting more acreage every day,” he said. “We have acquired land and are representing more growers.”

J&C expects to ship 100,000 bushels of avocados this season.

Sales veteran joins Miami’s M&M Farm Inc.

Mike Heyer has joined M&M Farm Inc., Miami, on the sales desk.

A produce industry sales veteran, Heyer formerly was sales manager of imports for Sun America Imports, a subsidiary of Sun City Produce Co., Pompano Beach, Fla.

Before starting his own produce brokerage company in 1998, Boynton Beach, Fla.-based Palm Coast Produce, Heyer worked sales for Dade Tomato Co., Miami, and Velvet Tomato Co., Lantana, Fla.

Lloyd Rosen, M&M’s business development director, said Heyer provides a broad understanding of the crossover concept of introducing roots and fruits and tropical items to the Anglo-American consumer.

Heyer started working at M&M in April.

In other news, M&M in early May was preparing for a third-party audit to be conducted by ASI Food Safety Consultants, St. Louis.

Rosen said the grower-shipper and packer of avocados and tropicals plans to complete the audit by early July.

Part of the updating of food safety standards involves rebuilding or upgrading the company’s coolers and packing operations.

New Limeco LLC developing new label

New Limeco LLC, Princeton, Fla., plans to introduce a label.

The grower-shipper and packer of avocados and tropicals and importer of other tropicals still packs under its New Limeco and Qual-A-Key labels. However, it plans to begin packing under a new label, said Eddie Caram, general manager.

He said the company was deciding on a name in early May.

In other news, the company has redesigned its Web site at