C.H. Robinson’s acquisition of Rosemont Farms should help the third-party logistics provider move closer to the growing end of produce distribution and help expand its offerings, company officials said.

On Sept. 15, the Eden Prairie, Minn.-based C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. publicized its purchase of Boca Raton, Fla.-based Rosemont Farms Corp. Inc. and its sister company, Quality Logistics LLC.

Officials with Rosemont and C.H. Robinson declined to disclose terms of the acquisition and Rosemont’s yearly sales.

C.H. Robinson plans to continue using the Rosemont brand name and have the sourcing division keeping its south Florida regional offices. The operation would be called “Rosemont, a C.H. Robinson company,” said Jim Lemke, C.H. Robinson’s senior vice president of sourcing.

In 1999, Andrew Schwartz, Frank Segui and Don Brodie founded Rosemont, which became one of the East Coast’s larger vegetables grower, shipper and distributor.

Schwartz and Segui plan to continue with C.H. Robinson in similar management roles, Lemke said.

The sale took place on Sept. 14 and had C.H. Robinson officials in Boca Raton meeting with Rosemont people to determine which responsibilities each can handle more efficiently, Lemke said. 

Quality Logistics, on the other hand, will transition to C.H. Robinson ownership and effectively become another C.H. Robinson branch location, he said.

Lemke said Rosemont has a long history of adapting to the needs of the marketplace by developing new approaches to the supply chain.

“The cool thing is they have been able to take their model, which began primarily as being just a Southeastern dry vegetable trading business, and in a short period of time have become a nationally known company,” Lemke said.

“They have a lot of developing relationships with receivers in a couple of key markets west of the Mississippi River that we didn’t have before. Being both a grower-shipper and a trading organization, they will help add to our long-term strategy of continuing to get closer to the ground.”

Quality Logistics, which focuses primarily on refrigerated and less-than-truckload transportation, was created shortly after Rosemont’s founding.

Lemke said C.H. Robinson and Rosemont officials have worked together on many projects since 2000.

He said the Rosemont addition will be similar to C.H. Robinson’s assimilation of Monterey, Calif.-based FoodSource Procurement LLC, which C.H. Robinson purchased in 2005.

Added to its Western sourcing offices, Rosemont’s Southeastern-based growing and packing operations should help C.H. Robinson incrementally add supply as well as additional sales and sourcing people, Lemke said.

Because of legal ramifications and corporate issues involving the purchase, Daniel Whittles, Rosemont’s director of marketing and product development, said Rosemont officials were restricted in what they could say about the change. 

Rosemont has distribution facilities in Nogales, Ariz.; Plant City, Fla.; Tifton, Ga.; and Faison, N.C.

Lemke said C.H. Robinson plans to keep Rosemont’s 100 employees.

The Rosemont addition is the second major change C.H. Robinson has announced in a month.

In August, C.H. Robinson expanded its international presence by opening a European-based produce sourcing operation called C.H. Robinson Sourcing SAS in Avignon, France.

That division focuses on global fresh produce trading.