U.S.: Vanguard International acquires Pride Packing

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U.S.: Vanguard International acquires Pride Packing

Washington state-headquartered Vanguard International Group has purchased Pride Packing, also based in the state, as part of its strategy to develop a global vertically-integrated fresh fruit organization. 

Ernest Spada, Sr

Pride grows and distributes apples, pears, cherries, apricots, peaches, and nectarines.

“We are thrilled to welcome Pride to Vanguard and to continue our working relationship with this industry leader”, Vanguard CEO Craig Stauffer said.

“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. is described as being one of the first companies to adopt the Two-Leader growing and pruning technique that was developed by UC Davis and continues as an innovative practice today.

The technique lets more sunlight onto the fruit, increasing sugar content and producing sweeter tasting fruit. The method also shortens harvest time.

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,” Spada said.

Pride's brands include Merit ‘O Pride, Poinsettia, and Apple Valley. It is a vertically integrated 3,000-acre farming operation complete with its own packing and cold storage facilities.

“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,” Calhoun said. 


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