Paramount Citrus President David Krause, who has served as chair of the United Fresh Produce Association for the past year, reflected on his experience earlier this week when he sat down to chat with The Shelby Report’s Bob Reeves in San Diego during United Fresh’s annual convention.
While Krause said his time at the helm of the organization has been “fantastic,” he revealed it hasn’t been without its challenges. “…if you recall back to when I took the term, we were in the midst of merger discussions with PMA (Produce Marketing Association)…And I think the thing I’m sort of most happy with, or proud of, is the board coming together (after that merger didn’t work out) and setting the business of United first, so that we’re now really focused on United and you can see it in the show in the last couple of days here.”
Krause’s term as the chairman of United Fresh began at the group’s Dallas convention just more than a year ago. In that time, he says he gained a much better and broader understanding of the fresh produce industry.
“You sort of end up knowing the space that you work in, as in Paramount Citrus, but you don’t often get a breadth and understanding of the totality of the system—all the other crops, all the other producers, supply chain or even, and maybe more important, the public policy work that has to take place in order for us to all have successful businesses,” he said.
Though Krause pointed out he has no interest in entering the political arena, he does have “an interest in making sure our businesses and the fresh industry is sound, and therefore I have an interest in public policy.”
Now, following the 2013 convention, Krause takes on the role of immediate past chair and, while he will continue to be involved with United, he plans to get hard back to work at Delano, Calif.-based Paramount Citrus.
“We’ve got a very big business and one that’s growing very fast,” he said.
Paramount recently acquired two different companies in Texas—Healds Valley Farms and Rio Queen, which primarily deal in grapefruit.
“We’re making a big footprint down in South Texas,” Krause added.
Additionally, Krause reports that Paramount is acquiring and expanding its lime business in south Mexico.
As for United Fresh, Ron Midyett of Apio Inc. was elevated to the chairman’s role during the convention this week.