RPE Partners with West Coast Vegetable Co.
RPE Inc. has announced a vertically integrated partnership with Lodi, Calif.-based West Coast Vegetable Co. Inc. to grow, pack and market onions. The partnership with West Coast Vegetable Co. will allow RPE to serve its customers better by increasing its capacity with year-round supplies in all varieties of onions and by offering more packing locations to allow just-in-time inventory for its customers.
“Our partnership with West Coast Vegetable Co. is another example of our commitment to leading the onion category,” said Russell Wysocki, president and CEO at RPE Inc. “This new partnership, along with our recent alliance with Onion Boy Inc. gives RPE an even greater variety and supply of quality onions for our customers.”
A 30-plus-year produce industry veteran, West Coast Vegetable Co. is a full-service onion grower, shipper and packer that specializes in the exclusive Panoche™ sweet onion line. The family-owned company first introduced these onions to the marketplace in 1994 to compete with Georgia’s Vidalia onion program. Additional product lines include Sweetly Mild and Ruby Red onions.
West Coast Vegetable Co. offers a full line of onions, including Panoche™ sweet onions that are available June through December, and certify all sweets as well as nutri-clean the sweet onions in the field. West Coast Vegetable Co. controls the onion varieties they sell and offer cartons and bags of yellow onions, cartons of sweet onions, as well bags and cartons of red onions.
“We are committed to providing high-quality and innovative products to our customers,” said Michael Figone, CFO of West Coast Vegetable Co. “Forming a partnership with a company with similar values was important to us, and RPE’s marketing strength will be an asset to West Coast Vegetable Co.”
In addition to the marketing agreement between RPE and West Coast Vegetable Co., RPE will share ownership in West Side Packing LLC in Tranquility, Calif. The packing facility is third-party certified, while storage bins hold 100 percent hand-harvested forced-air dried onions, ensuring higher quality products for customers.
Just last month RPE announced a partnership with Ohio-based Onion Boy Inc. With the addition of the West Coast Vegetable Co. partnership, RPE will be rolling out a complete onion strategy to its customers focused on delivering category growth to include new packaging, category management and an extensive category marketing plan.