LIV Organic Produce Names Justin Cruz as Sales Representative to Expand its Sweet Potato Program; Anthony Innocenti Comments
OCEANSIDE, CA - What was once strictly a holiday accompaniment has been elevated to a year-round powerhouse category, as the demand and eating opportunities surrounding sweet potatoes have increased exponentially. Capitalizing on this category growth, LIV Organic Produce is honing in on its own program. As part of its strategy, the supplier recently named a new team member to champion this growth, appointing Justin Cruz as Sales Representative.
“I’ve worked in the produce industry for eight years and have been involved in many aspects of the business from the ground up. Sweet potatoes and their expanding presence in the produce aisle have fueled my passion for this work, and I look forward to exploring all-new horizons with LIV Organic,” Justin told me.
In this new role, he will be managing the supplier’s collective of sweet potato growers with expanded acreage not only in Bakersfield, California, but into the Livingston region as well. He gained his experience at a local, family-owned sweet potato packing facility, where he had the opportunity to serve within financial accounts/sales roles. He went from the basics of cold calling and developing relationships with customers to learning the ropes of the financial side of produce along with the communications of logistics within the packing facility, delivery operations, and food safety.
The new Sales Representative exemplifies a clear passion for getting to know the growers and buyers he works with as people and learning about their values in this business, which, as we know, is a key characteristic of a successful fresh produce professional.
“In this relationship-driven business, meeting and gaining the perspectives of others continues to inspire me. The authenticity of produce industry members is unmatched, and it is an honor to work alongside those that I do,” said Justin. “Persistence and dedication are integral to working in fresh produce, just as much as creating lasting relationships.”
An overarching goal and foundational ideal of LIV Organic’s is fostering sustainable, lasting partnerships with its growers and buyers, as Justin relayed. Within the sweet potato category specifically, he plans to help maintain LIV’s already established relationships and work to create new ones with farmers and customers in other areas.
Furthermore, LIV Organic Produce is committing to the present and future of the sweet potato category by developing its program with both bulk packs as well as several value-added options. Anthony Innocenti, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, weighed in on this strategic move.
“With boots on the ground in Livingston, we’re now in a powerful position to make a large impact on the sweet potato category. This active, year-round market works simultaneously to help us provide buyers with product and allow growers to bring their supplies to store shelves,” Anthony explained to me. “More growers are testing the waters with their own sweet potato cultivation. As market availability grows, LIV Organic has an opportunity to expand our program in a way that is sustainable and consistent for us, as well as those who we develop partnerships with.”
Congratulations to Justin as he enters this new role; we can’t wait to watch LIV Organic Produce’s growth within the sweet potato category!