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Classic Fruit and Westside Produce begin Guatemala melon harvest


Champerico, Guatemala – As we enter the winter season, Classic Fruit BB #:194271 and Westside Produce BB #:149536 have begun harvesting in Guatemala with numerous updates that strengthen their ability to provide melons 52 weeks a year.

From facility updates to new varieties, they are thrilled to head into this season.

“We have nearly completed our new packing facility in Champerico, Guatemala where we produce a majority of our import honeydews and watermelons,” states Fernando Garcia Salas, GM of Classic Guatemala. “We also continue trialing cantaloupe and honeydew varieties at various times and locations during the season to optimize flavor profiles in addition to our regular seedless watermelon, personal watermelon, and specialty import melons such as the Dino, Hamis, and Yellow Melons that we will be offering this season.”

Transportation improvements have also been made, and carriers will now offer additional service to multiple US destinations.

“These logistical improvements allow us to locate more products at various US ports, lessening the time between product harvest and delivery to the ultimate customer destination,” comments Samuel Hernandez, Assistant GM of Classic Guatemala. “We expect excellent early season quality and optimum sizing and are excited to be able to deliver them to these additional destinations.”

The alliance continues production techniques under parameters required for Rainforest certification as well as trialing improved sustainability efforts. This includes utilizing solar power for some of their packing shed needs, planting and incorporating cover crops during the off season to build/retain organic matter in their soils, reforestation, and producing all the plastic trays required to be placed under each melon to prevent ground spotting and soil moisture from coming into contact with the fruit.

Collecting and melting down used melon trays to be re-formed (recycled) into new melon trays is also part of the alliance’s ongoing sustainability and food safety efforts.

“Food safety continues to be paramount in our approach to delivering the safest, most wholesome, fruits to our customers,” said Garrett Patricio, President of Westside Produce.

Paul Raggio, President at Classic Fruit, adds “internal labs staffed at each of our packing houses continuously swab contact surface areas to ensure cleanliness before packing can begin and during packing to allow continued packing. These same internal lab staffs at each packing shed also inspect and approve all outgoing containers for cleanliness before any Classic product can be loaded on them for export.”

Together, the alliance looks forward to a successful winter program with these new updates in place. For further sales information, please contact one of the offices below:

Firebaugh – (559) 659-3904

Fresno – (559) 271-9200

Florida – (954) 426-0775