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Bob Henrick

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A question for Bill Spencer

by Bob Henrick » Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:02 pm

Bill, I am aware of the terrible weather you had in late January, and of the up to 50% fruit loss. I am also aware that your pickers will be out of work for an extended period of time, even given the stipend given by the state. I Will be sure to buy associated fruit products, if only I can identify them. My local grocery stores are Kroger, Meijers, and Walmart. I have looked at the available fruit and have not seen a sticker from your company ("Associated Fruit Packers Inc") so, if it is available to me here in Kentucky, please let me (and others here) know how we can be sure we are getting your fruit when we buy. Thanks.
Bob Henrick
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Cynthia Wenslow

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Re: A question for Bill Spencer

by Cynthia Wenslow » Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:19 pm

From Bill's website:

ASSOCIATED packs nearly one million cartons of fruit each season and markets this fruit world-wide under it's Kachina, Kiva, Dos Rios, El Patron, Don Rico, and Solano labels through it's own marketing division (Spencer Bros.).
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Bob Henrick

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Re: A question for Bill Spencer

by Bob Henrick » Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:53 pm

Thanks Cynthia, I do not recall seeing any of these stickers in my local stores, but will print them out and look closer. I am hoping that Bill will chime in and tell me if he sells to the stores I mentioned in my post above.
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Bill Spencer

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Re: A question for Bill Spencer

by Bill Spencer » Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:58 pm

Bob Henrick wrote:... please let me (and others here) know how we can be sure we are getting your fruit when we buy. Thanks.


%^)

Unfortunately, the internal quality of the limited amount of fruit that survived the freeze has limited our sales to basically the jobbing markets west of the Mississippi River and food service companies which cut/slice/etc. the fruit ... so it would only be by accident that any of my post-freeze fruit would be found in any major retail chainstore today ...

That being said, during my season (September through February) I supply one-third of all the Wal-Mart supercenters in the United States ... they are by far my largest retail customer ... however, only in the state of Arizona would you find my actual name on the recyclable plastic containers for bulk fruit and my label, Don Rico, on the bagged fruit in the recyclable plastic containers ... outside of Arizona, my lemons and minneola tangelos can be found as "Packed and marketed for C.H. Robinson Worldwide" denoting their "Fresh 1" label and my packer code "LM-1" on both the recyclable plastic container identification tags and the "Fresh 1" label bags ...

Finally ... specific identification of individual fruits is typically done by only the very largest major marketers of fresh fruits and vegetables, i.e., Sunkist, Dole, Ocean Spray, Seald Sweet, Calavo, etc. ... as a small (by industry standards), independent, family owned, fourth generation growing, packing, and marketing entity, the associated costs of branding our fruit is prohibitive ... whether you are actually buying my fruit or someone else's fruit during my season is not important as ANY increased purchases during that time period trickles down to eventually help me ... we and everyone else in the fresh produce business operate in a true supply versus demand (or visa versa) market in the fresh fruit and vegetable industry ... the more volume that is purchased (demand) reduces the available supply and increases the market price ... that being said, IF you can identify the country of origin, it ONLY helps U.S. farmers if you buy U.S. grown produce ... your support by buying lemons from Chile, Spain, Turkey, Mexico, South Africa, etc. ONLY eventually hurts me ... layers and layers of industry and government regulations that help U.S. farmers produce the safest and most abundant food supply in the world do not exist in those countries and, therefore, the costs associated with those regulations don't exist either ... and while my family of workers won't get wealthy with the around $10 an hour I pay them, at least it's a helluva lot more than the LESS THAN $10 a DAY most of the workers make in those other countries which, again, works against me in the marketplace ...

But enough of the "soapbox" ... I appreciate the question and am humbly grateful for the reasoning behind why the question was asked in the first place ...

Clink !

%^)
"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went !" - Anonymous

Napa is for auto parts, Paso is for wine !

Bill Spencer (Arizona Wine Lover)

Lemon Recipes - http://www.associatedcitrus.com/recipes.html

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