(UPDATED COVERAGE, 1:55 p.m.) Hurst’s Berry Farm Inc. has spun off its marketing, sales and packing operation into a new company.

UPDATED: Hurst’s Berry Farm launches sales, marketing company

HBF International LLC is a partnership between Mark and Patty Hurst, owners of Sheridan, Ore.-based Hurst’s, and Doug Perkins, a former Hurst’s employee, said Mark Hurst, Hurst’s president.

Hurst and Perkins, who has worked for Hurst’s for more than five years, most recently as director of sales and marketing, are HBF’s managing directors, Hurst said.

The creation of Sheridan-based HBF, effective Jan. 1, will allow Perkins’s role to grow, and will pave the way for Hurst’s role, one day, to diminish.

“I’m not all that old yet, but down the road I may not want to do this anymore,” said Hurst, who is 56. “Having Doug as an owner rather than an employee, he’ll be able to take it further than he already has.”

Creating HBF also provides “clarity” between the growing side and the sales, marketing and packing side, Hurst said.

Hurst credits Perkins, who is based in Madera, Calif., where he also grows blueberries sold under the Hurst’s banner, with much of Hurst’s expansion the past five years.

Under the new arrangement, Hurst is splitting his time between HBF and Hurst’s.

Hurst’s Berry Farm is continuing to operate as a farming company with operations in Oregon and subsidiaries in Mexico. The company grows blueberries and kiwiberries in Oregon and raspberries, blackberries and blueberries in Mexico.

In addition to those regions, HBF International sources berries from California, Washington, Canada, Chile and Argentina.

All of those deals existed prior to the creation of HBF, said Hurst, who projects continued steady growth in volumes.

HBF has exclusive rights to market and sell Hurst’s berries worldwide. Exports are expected to account for 15% of HBF’s business.