Vanguard is more than a dominant international produce provider. We are also a large international family made up of smaller grower families, each with a proud heritage and a passion for growing the finest fruits and vegetables on earth. Vanguard now nurtures the lessons learned over all those years in orchards and farms around the world.
Pride Packing, a recent addition to the Vanguard fold, is a prime example of how local caring contributes to global sharing. General Manager and Vice President of Operations, Brett Calhoun, notes that, “The Pride name dates back to 1972 and the dream of Ernest Spada to make Wapato, Washington synonymous with the freshest and best apples, apricots, nectarines, peaches, pears and cherries.” Pride Packing was an early adopter of the two–leader growing and pruning technique, a trimming process that lets more sunlight onto the fruit to increase sugar content and that the company further evolved. “Every grower faces challenges unique to their region and the solutions they come up with can benefit others in the company” Brett says. “As big as Vanguard is, we operate with an open and frequent exchange of information. We’re committed to an across–the–table approach, even when it means across oceans.” Vanguard’s strategy is to continue developing a global, vertically integrated fresh operation that brings precisely the produce our customers want to each market, and to do so with Pride.
“We are thrilled to welcome Pride to Vanguard and to continue our working relationship with this industry leader,” Craig Stauffer, Vanguard’s CEO, says. “We are proud to be associated with the Spada family, United Salad Co., and Pride, and we look forward to increasing our footprint in Washington to enhance our ability to supply our customers around the world.” Founded in 1972 by Ernest Spada Sr., Pride Packing Co. was one of the first companies to adopt the Two–Leader growing and pruning technique, developed by the University of California–Davis — a process that lets more sunlight onto the fruit to increase sugar content. Spada will stay on as Pride’s chairman emeritus, and Brett Calhoun will continue as general manager and vice president of farming operations. “We are dedicated to ensuring a smooth transition and seamless integration of all entities as we enter this exciting partnership between Pride and Vanguard,” Spada said in the news release.