Plantation Produce makes big changes

The Packer

November 16, 2012 12:29 PM



Plantation Produce Co., Mission, Texas, expects big changes as it kicks off its winter produce deal.

The company will become a repacking and processing house, said Marcelino Garza, president and chief executive officer. It also will open its doors for public storage, warehousing and repacking and will handle in-and-outs for other companies.


The firm also expanded its cold storage and now has the capacity to handle 60 truckloads, he said.

At the same time, the company expanded its docking space and created a climate-controlled dock. Five refrigeration settings are available.

In the field, Plantation Produce will grow and ship greens from south Texas and Mexico for the first time.

Greens will be available seven months of the year from Texas and six months from Mexico.


The program includes organic and conventional collard greens, kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, turnips, cilantro, parsley and green onions.

The firm also has launched organic and conventional broccoli programs.

By January, Garza said, the facility will be Global Food Safety Initiative certified.

The company exports to Korea from its operations in Mexico, he said.


A lot of greenhouse-grown Mexican products will go to Asia, including greens. Pilot programs have been started for tomatoes, bell peppers and hot peppers.

In the spring, the company, which used to grow only onions, cabbage and some cucumbers in south Texas and Mexico, plans to plant squash, zucchini and straightneck yellow squash along with cucumbers and tomatoes in south Texas.

"This is a spring deal that we"re doing for some of the chain stores," Garza said.

Garza took over the 40-year-old company three years ago, bought the former 78,000-square-foot Frito-Lay processing facility and plans to bring the firm back to being the powerhouse it once was, he said.

"We tested the waters and we know where we"re going and where we need to be," he said.