Riveridge Produce Marketing increases Michigan-asparagus volume in 2017

SPARTA, Mich. – As part of an expanded partnership with Ridgeview Orchards, Riveridge Produce Marketing will market a larger share of Michigan asparagus in 2017.

 

“We’ve worked with Riveridge for a number of years on the apple side and they’ve always been on the forefront of marketing, food safety and quality,” said Al Dietrich, co-owner Ridgeview Orchards. “They have more than 25 years of produce relationships on the apple side and we knew it would be a natural bridge to add our asparagus marketing to their portfolio.”

 

With this larger volume, Riveridge has added packaging options, revised current packaging and partnered with a Southwest Michigan packer to capture some of the first harvested asparagus of the season.

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Riveridge Adds Michigan-Grown Asparagus to Produce Offering

Harvest Starts in Early May

SPARTA, Mich.- March 29, 2016 – Riveridge Produce Marketing is a vertically-integrated apple grower, packer, marketer and the largest shipper of Michigan apples.  For more than 25 years, Riveridge has been committed to promoting Michigan agriculture, this year expanding to market and sell a large volume of fresh Michigan asparagus.

Asparagus, like apples, is a crop that does very well in Michigan thanks to the climate provided in part by the proximity to Lake Michigan. Michigan is the second largest grower of Asparagus in the U.S. keeping more than 120 family farms active in the commercial growing of asparagus.

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Chicago ag, culinary students get farm-to-fork experience

Chicago Public Schools students visit SW Michigan farm, apple packing facility

Ag, culinary students visit orchard in farm-to-fork field trip

Hartford, Mich.  (Oct. 10, 2014) – Nearly 100 Chicago Public High School students had a unique farm-to-fork experience this week when they visited a Southwest Michigan apple orchard and packing house to see the journey of apples from the trees into packages bound for their local stores and cafeterias.

The students, who are culinary and agricultural students from Marshall High School on Chicago’s west side and Chicago Vocational Career Academy on the south side, visited High Acres Fruit Farm in Hartford, a Riveridge grower and packing partner.  The students were very excited about the opportunity as most had never visited an orchard, and none had ever been in a commercial orchard or commercial packing facility. Continue reading

Riveridge launches comprehensive new website

Sparta, Mich.  –  Capping a months-long overhaul, Riveridge Produce has re-launched its web presence with a multi-media site.

“We have taken an entirely new tack with our website, blending our updated brand image with our “Experience Matters” ad campaign and integrating short videos to best tell the Riveridge story,” said Don Armock, president of Riveridge Produce Marketing, Inc.  “We’ve also re-organized our menu buttons around areas of use to better serve our buyers.” Continue reading

Riveridge Announces ‘Core Facts’ Training Videos for Produce Personnel

Video series inspired by FAQs from customers

Sparta, Mich – Riveridge Produce Marketing, Inc., has released the first seven videos in its ‘Core Facts’ series of educational training videos for produce department managers and staff, as well as retail, wholesale and food service apple buyers.

“We got to thinking about how many of the same apple questions that each of us on the sales desk receive from buyers, and sometimes produce department staff who may be new to representing apples in the retail environment,” said  Don Armock, Riveridge president.  “For every person who calls with an apple question there are probably many more people in the business who have that same question.” Continue reading

Ceremonial first apple of 2014 picked with local Feeding America food bank

Local apple shipper celebrates 25th year in business with Grand Rapids charity

Sparta, Mich. – A dozen or so children, their grandparents and staff of the Feeding America-West Michigan Food Bank will pick the first apples of 2014 on Riveridge’s home farm, in celebration of the Sparta-based grower/packer/ shipper’s 25th year in business.

Riveridge Produce Marketing, Inc., began as a three-person apple sales agency in Grant, Mich.,
25 years ago this fall. Today the company grows 860 acres of apples, represents 117 family-run apple orchards, and sells more than one-third of Michigan’s fresh apple crop from seven different Riveridge-affiliated apple-packing facilities. Continue reading

Apples to apples comparison finds harvester has less bruising

Riveridge comments on results of 2013 automated vacuum harvester test

Sparta, Mich. – A six-week pilot test of a Michigan-made vacuum harvest aid last fall, showed significant promise in several areas, according to Riveridge Produce Marketing, Inc., and the company has plans to expand its use of the equipment again this fall.

“Basically what we wanted to see last year was how well the vacuum harvest machinery handled the fruit from the picker into bin-filler, as the first test of whether the system was a viable option for us,” said Justin Finkler, Riveridge operations manager. “We were very pleased with the results of the bruising trials.” Continue reading

Riveridge Produce Adds New Staff

Michigan apple shipper adds familiar apple sales rep

Sparta, Mich. – As part of its expansion plans, Riveridge Produce has added Mitch Brinks as an account manager in its Sparta, Mich., sales office effective August 4.

Mitch Brinks

Mitch Brinks

Brinks has had a long career in the produce business, including the last 11 years as sales manager at Jack Brown Produce, also in Sparta.  Before moving to West Michigan, Brinks worked in produce procurement for the Kroger Co., traveling and sourcing fruits and vegetables primarily in the Eastern US.  He also has experience in import/export sales of fresh produce. Continue reading

Riveridge Produce Announces New Look on Cartons

Contact: Don Armock (616) 299-1835

Sparta, Mich. – As Riveridge continues to roll out its fresh rebranding, produce buyers will see the jaunty lime-green-leafed Riveridge signature showing up on shipping cartons in just a few weeks.

“This brand has more energy and vibrant colors that better reflect today’s food marketplace,” said Don Armock, Riveridge president.  “By bringing this new look to our cartons, we’ve moved that much closer to a coordinated brand look across our Riveridge product line which speaks to our customers.” Continue reading

Riveridge anticipates back-to-back large apple crops

Contact: Justin Finkler, Operations Manager
Phone: 616-887-6873

 

Sparta, Michigan – Conditions are set for Riveridge to have a bountiful apple crop again this year, according to company president Don Armock.

Riveridge has adopted an extensive, science-based tech program of forcing and testing buds in late winter and early spring to determine bud differentiation and therefore crop potential.  That program indicated despite a nearly-record crop last year, Riveridge Land Company orchards are anticipating an excellent 2014 return bloom. Continue reading