Oppy invests in enhancing California cherry deal

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Oppy invests in enhancing California cherry deal

British-Columbia based produce distributor Oppy has invested in a venture bringing together top cherry brands, Katicich Ranch and Brookside, to form Katco Packing.

Katco Packing, which is located in Stockton, California, will primarily offer high-grade Bing and Coral cherries from the aforementioned brands. The Brookside label will be slated for domestic and international markets whereas the Katicich brand will target exports.

Additionally, Katco will perform operational tasks, particularly in the area of packing cherries, utilizing optical sorting machinery to optimize accuracy and speed.

Oppy, meanwhile will take on a strategic role in the new venture, in which the company will be involved with both partners and be able to benefit from vertical integration.

“Oppy has a long history in the California cherry deal and through this move looks to streamline operations even further to grow our comprehensive offerings in line with demand,” Oppy’s Senior Vice President, Categories and Marketing James Milne said. 

“The move ultimately enables greater transparency, a deeper understanding of how the fruit is going to be looked after, as well as 360-degree logistical support backed by Oppy’s expect the world from us promise.”

Oppy’s investment in the deal will also mean earlier involvement on a key operational level, providing extra support to retailers.

For their part, Katicich Ranch and Brookside will benefit from the increased precision resulting from the high-tech sorting lines. This benefit will bring about still more such as reducing production costs and help in the management of logistical challenges.  

“We’re incredibly excited with this new step forward as we look to realizing the many advantages of aligning even more closely with partners such as Oppy,” said Katicich Ranch’s General Manager Matt P. Katicich III

“As the cherry category continues to grow every year, there remain many more opportunities to tap into, which is what we hope to achieve with Katco Packing.”

 Greg Costa, partner at Felix Costa & Sons likewise expressed his contentment with the deal saying “We are already working incredibly closely with Oppy and Katicich Farms so this was the next logical step to grow our business.” 

“The Brookside label is known for its premium, high-quality cherries at home and abroad, and by combining our strengths we can offer this great fruit to a wider range of customers while still maintaining the quality that we’re known for.”

Oppy’s move will add to its transition to the Pacific Northwest deal, which had an incredibly strong season in 2020. Katco Packing is also currently looking to add other qualified grower partners to its growing program.

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