The Vanguard International Group has purchased Pride Packing Co. in Wapato, Washington, as part of its strategy to develop a global vertically–integrated fresh fruit organization, able to supply fresh produce 52–weeks per year from its’ farms to its’ customers.
“We are thrilled to welcome Pride to Vanguard and to continue our working relationship with this industry leader”, shares Craig Stauffer, Vanguard’s CEO. Stauffer adds, “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. in central Washington, Pride Packing Co. was one of the first companies to adopt the Two–Leader growing and pruning technique. This technique is now recognized as an innovative method that lets more sunlight onto the fruit, which increases sugar content and produces sweeter tasting fruit. Because this method also shortens harvest time, the fruit arriving is much fresher than traditionally grown fruit.
Ernest Spada, Sr. will continue 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,” says Spada.
Pride has become one of the most sought after growers in the global market with a stable of in–demand brands that include Merit O’ Pride, Poinsettia, and Apple Valley. Pride is a vertically–integrated 3,000 acre farming operation complete with its own packing and cold storage facilities and is one of Washington’s leading producers of apples, pears, cherries, apricots, peaches, and nectarines.
“We’re extremely proud of the success and development that has been created at Pride and look forward to further expanding our reach and growth as part of the Vanguard team,” says Brett Calhoun, General Manager and Vice President of Washington Farming Operations, Pride Packing Co.
Further development of Pride will continue to focus on planting additional acreage of complementary products that provide a unique taste experience and superior quality.
Founded in 1991, Vanguard is a leading global vertically–integrated fresh fruit growing, packing, marketing, and sales organization headquartered in Issaquah, Washington, USA, with branch offices in Wapato, Washington; Bakersfield, California; Lima, Peru; Ica, Peru: Santiago, Chile; Stellenbosch, South Africa; Shanghai, China; Taipei, Taiwan; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Madrid, Spain.
Founded in 1972 by Ernest Spada, Sr. and headquartered in Wapato, Washington, Pride Packing is a leader in the Washington tree fruit growing industry and passionate about supplying high–quality, food–safety assured products Worldwide.