Gary Clevenger Discusses Building Retail Mango Programs and Consistency
OXNARD, CA - There is nothing quite like the flavor, texture, scent, and overall eating experience of a really great mango. And there is nothing quite like finding—this being the consumer in me speaking—a retailer I can rely on for a consistent and delicious mango program and supplier partner. When I put my B2B hat back on, one of the companies that always comes to mind when I think of mango excellence is Freska Produce International.
“With our year-round availability we have the capability to service and commit to programs from our vast experience of importing mangos,” Gary Clevenger, Managing Principal, shares with me. “We have spent the time, effort, and costs to have our food safety and social audits completed annually and we are now fully-certified for Fair Trade from our shippers in Mexico. We work on relationships with our customers to make sure they have what they need, when they need it.”
It may go without saying that customer service remains an everyday constant for suppliers at the top of their game and not only with retail partners but growers themselves remain of utmost importance as Freska works to ensure they are getting the best possible returns.
Currently, Freska is harvesting and shipping mangos from Ecuador as the season winds down. Shipping from Peru has already started with Kents and by January Freska should be totally into Peru as well as starting Ataulfos out of Mexico in late January.
“The peak out of Peru will begin the first part of February and Mexico will get started at the end of January, with reds following in mid-February,” Gary says. “The main varieties upcoming as a whole will be Tommy Atkins and Kents with some Ataulfos for the next 30 days. The market remains pretty good on large fruit in the 7s, 8s, and 9s range with some weakness on 10s and 12s due to a lot of 12s in the market today. Kents from Peru should have some bigger sizes but will have to wait and see how the harvest progresses. Quality is outstanding.”
Mangos provide an ideal splash of color and flavor during this cool winter season in the Nothern Hemisphere and Freska is ready to partner with retailers to ring in the New Year right.