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New York’s Hunts Point

Making changes at the half-century mark
New York Spotlight_MS

“There’s a lot of grey area there, and getting thrown into the processor category brings a whole set of rules and regulations that may not be applicable to all operators,” Muzyk concludes.

Shippers on the hot seat too
Food safety isn’t affecting only wholesalers and growers, but other areas, including transportation. Target Interstate’s Kazan says tracking and traceability while in transit will be an important piece of FSMA compliance.

How has 2017 measured up – was this year better than last year for your business?

Michael Muzyk, Baldor
So far, 2017 has been trending to be a very positive year for us. Our busiest time used to be the fourth quarter, but since 2008, the glory days of holiday parties have not returned. Now our busiest time is just after the Labor Day holiday.

Gabriela D’Arrigo, D’Arrigo Bros. Company of New York, Inc.
It’s been pretty stable; there was some early weather, and that was a factor in a lot of the growing regions we work with, but it’s not anything we haven’t seen before.

Steve Koster, E. Armata, Inc.
Yes, 2017 has been a good year. Over the past few years, we’ve been expanding and growing the business and have had a good run. All of our efforts to serve customers better have come back to us with increased sales.

Charlie DiMaggio, Fres Co, LLC
We expected a little more growth in 2017 [with our] move. But even before we moved, the buzz about it increased interest and gave us a little lift. People heard we were expanding and got behind us, and that’s a great thing to see.

Joel Fierman, Joseph Fierman & Son, Inc.
I like 2017 better than 2016; the market had a little more activity this year.

James Margiotta, J Margiotta Company, LLC
Business has been great. We’re doing a lot more fruit than in the past. Our brand of pineapple has been doing very well and the potato, onion, and veg business continues to grow. I am very pleased with the way this year has gone so far.

Felipe Moreno, Moreno Produce NY Corp.
To be honest, it is stable, but not as good as we expected. We were expecting higher volume in mangos and papayas, but political issues really affected the community.

Ray Myruski, Raymond Myruski, LLC
This year, overall, the crops looks nicer than last year, but they were a little bit later. We didn’t plant as early this year and then we didn’t have real warm temperatures in the beginning of the growing season to bring the crop on.

Paul Kazan, Target Interstate Systems, Inc.
It started out slow—volume-wise and dollar-wise—but volume and revenue came up. So, it’s better than 2016, but not as robust as we expected.

“Traditionally, data recording devices would tell us what happened in transit after the trip,” Kazan explains. “Now, we have real-time data—sensors that show if the doors have been opened, temperature, and other data. This tracking will be helpful for food safety compliance.”

Kazan also noted that since Target Interstate started using real-time tracking, he has had zero claims, a cost which used to be in the six figures annually.