Mission Produce and NatureSweet Tomatoes has announced a long-term third-party logistics partnership leveraging Mission’s distribution center in Laredo, Texas.
The move will support the expansion of NatureSweet’s greenhouse portfolio, which includes its snacking tomatoes, medium/large tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.
In the partnership, Mission will provide NatureSweet with cold storage, cross docking, repacking, inventory management, access to quality inspections and other services. NatureSweet plans to consolidate about 70 percent of its total product volume coming from Mexico in Mission’s Laredo FDC and distribute to U.S. customers.
“Given the size and scale of our business, Mission is positioned to offer 3PL services that streamline operations and create logistical efficiencies for complementary products,” said Ben Barnard, VP of business operations at Mission.
“We designed our Laredo mega center to serve as a major hub for U.S. avocado imports, and we are leveraging the facility’s size and advanced technology to drive volume and generate additional revenue through synergistic partnerships with produce importers. While enabling those partners to benefit from economies of scale, this business model also allows us to maximize utilization of the facility, especially in times of lower avocado supply.”
Mission’s 261,000-square-foot distribution center opened in September 2021 with a goal to support the $4.2 billion of produce imported through the Laredo World Trade Port of Entry. The partnership is Mission’s largest 3PL agreement to date and expands on the company’s current partnerships across its other FDCs in New Jersey, California and Calgary.
“We expect our partnership with Mission Produce to significantly improve the distribution of NatureSweet’s top-selling produce,” said Bruno Del Rio, VP of supply chain, NatureSweet.
“There is increased demand for NatureSweet tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, and Mission’s consolidation center will allow us to expedite product in the U.S., keeping quality and freshness a top priority. Our commitment to improve NatureSweet’s daily operations is directly linked to the purpose of our company, which is transforming the lives of agricultural workers in North America.”
For more information, visit missionproduce.com.