First out of the gate with a major corporate announcement of industry significance at the Produce Marketing Association convention is this intriguing combination:
Dulcinea Farms, LLC and Rosemont Farms Corporation Announce New Business Alliance to Better Serve the Produce Industry
Dulcinea Farms, home to Fruit of Legendary Perfection, and Rosemont Farms, a leading grower, shipper and importer, announced today a growing, distribution and marketing partnership to increase production, distribution, sales and consumption of Dulcinea brand fresh fruits and vegetables.
Consumer research indicates significant unsatisfied demand among consumers for mini-seedless watermelons and other produce items that are specifically developed for taste and freshness. “This new strategic partnership will result in expanded production of Dulcinea Farms’ proprietary melon varieties on the East Coast, in the Midwest and in Central America. This increase in production, combined with current West Coast production, creates a geographic diversification which will allow us to provide a consistent supply, 52 weeks a year, for retailers and foodservice operators throughout the U.S. and Canada,” said Keith Kato, general manager of Dulcinea Farms.
“By combining Dulcinea Farms’ proprietary products and expertise in consumer research and marketing with Rosemont Farms’ supply chain expertise and logistics capability, we will create an efficient model to meet both customer and consumer needs,” said Andrew Schwartz, president of Rosemont Farms.
Dulcinea is owned by Syngenta, the Switzerland-based agribusiness giant employing over 19,000 people, and so has as backing resources rare in the produce industry. They’ve so far introduced four proprietary products: the Dulcinea PureHeart seedless watermelon, the Dulcinea Extra Sweet Tuscan Style cantaloupe, the Dulcinea SunnyGold Sweet Golden honeydew and the Dulcinea Rosso Bruno premium vine-fresh tomato. All these products were developed with traits that correspond to consumer desires for attributes such as better taste and sizes more easy to handle or use.
Alas, in the produce industry, merely having a great product is, most decidedly, not sufficient to secure ultimate success. Someone has to produce it in multiple places, it has to get where it needs to be in sufficient quantity and with good quality, and there are many obstacles. Rosemont Farms, a firm I know quite well as they are based in my home town of Boca Raton, Florida, is an interesting choice for Dulcinea to partner with and shows that someone in Switzerland must have a keen appreciation for the realities of our business.
Rosemont is the power behind many a throne in this industry. They don’t have a big name, but they do the work: Carefully putting together networks of growers, developing facilities across the country for pre-positioning/quality checking on product and integrating it all with a separate logistics organization. It used to be called the produce industry — now we use words like supply chain integrators.
This kind of alliance is going to be more common in the produce industry. In a sense, it is a compromise between the grower-shipper-packer that tries to do everything itself and the newfangled non-transactional produce companies, such as Green Giant or Disney Gardens that try to strictly segment what different parts of the supply chain do.
Grower-shipper-packers doing everything themselves is rapidly becoming impossible and the non-transactional model makes multi-product sales and marketing programs difficult. Combining the expertise of two wildly different players, the Dulcinea/Rosemont model is likely to be a productive collaboration.