Winter Haven, FL and Santiago, Chile (August 9th, 2019)
Always Fresh Farms, the respected Florida based grower and marketing company, and Giddings Fruit S.A., one of LatAm’s leading berry and cherry producer and exporters have announced a new, long term partnership to create an integrated 52-week supply proposition for the North American berry market. The venture, built on the grower heritage and family business values of both companies, is a significant development. Both partners share an uncompromising commitment to providing outstanding products, unrivaled customer service, and new variety innovation that will bring exciting development opportunities to the berry category.
“We are delighted to welcome Julio and the outstanding Giddings Fruit business into the Always Fresh family of growers” commented Wayne Giddings, President of Always Fresh. “Sharing values from our individual farming communities, we identified we had much in common and quickly discovered mutual ambition to put this deal together. The fact we share the same family name…well, it had to be! We are also really excited to gain access to the Giddings breeding program for our existing grower base and the fruit from their new genetics has really impressed us. We are sure it’s going to be really appreciated and in demand with our customers and partner growers.”
Julio Giddings, founder and CEO of Giddings Fruit added “In partnering with Always Fresh Farms, we anticipate significant expansion opportunities in the North American market. We very much admire the Always Fresh commitment to their growers and to customer service. Now, with a trusted, collaborative partnership with Always Fresh, we are looking forward to working in a more direct relationship with the market and being part of their year-round program. The benefit of being part of an integrated relationship is that is shortens the communication chain on all the important issues of our business including quality, food safety, innovation.”
Keith Mixon is appointed as CEO of new partnership. His love for the berry industry is well documented with his 20+ years, split between Sunnyridge Farm and Dole Berry Co, and has known both Giddings families for many years. Keith has been working with Always Fresh since September 2018 as Special advisor and has been instrumental in developing the team and infrastructure during the latest period of significant growth. Matthew Giddings continues in his role as Chief Commercial Officer and leads the sales and marketing team.
About Always Fresh Farms
Established in 2000, Always Fresh is a leading, Florida based berry marketing company, managing the full berry basket to national and regional chain stores. They have nationwide logistics and packing facilities and are recognised in the industry for their strong grower base, growing and product knowledge, and dedication to customer service.
About Giddings Fruit
Julio Giddings has been growing berries in Latin America since 1985 and has grown the business since foundation to be one of the most influential farming companies in the berry sector. Formally known as SB Berries and Sunbelle Mexico, the company annually exports over 25m kilos (13 million tray equivalents) to the North American market and has its own farms in Mexico, Chile and Peru. It has also developed many long-standing grower relationships and provides Plant propagation, agronomic consulting, agro-materials, packing and logistics services to the grower community across the main berry production regions. Though Black Venture Farms, the company creates over 1000 natural plant crosses every year in the pursuit of improved varieties. In 2018 the company delivered its first own genetics to market with the Aketzali blackberry. It also has exclusive variety licences on an Australian blueberry series plus agreements with research programs from both North America and Europe.