Vanguard International CEO Craig Stauffer retires

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Vanguard International CEO Craig Stauffer retires

After four decades in the fresh produce industry, Craig Stauffer is retiring as CEO of Vanguard International Group. 

Manuel Yzaga, acting CEO of Vanguard Peru, is set to take on Stauffer’s previous role effective Jan. 1, 2024.

Yzaga joined the group in 2017. He also served as Sun World’s country representative and consultant in Peru and was responsible for introducing the firm’s proprietary varieties to Peruvian growers.

Stauffer will continue to be active on strategic initiatives at the board level.

“This decision was not an easy  one for me because I love this industry and I am very passionate about our business (...), but this is the  optimal time to pass the torch to Manuel Yzaga, Dirk Winkelmann, and our global leadership team, and I’m excited to be able to continue working with them going forward and helping them in every  way that I can,” he says.

Related articles: Vanguard International shares the future of black grapes

In 2020, Stauffer spoke to Vision Magazine about the impact of Covid-19 on the fresh produce industry, which the executive deemed a “challenge that helped Vanguard center around its main strengths.

“The agricultural sector has always demonstrated an ability to adapt when challenged, and it is often thought that larger multinational producers, exporters and importers find it easier to react and adopt new paths quickly,” he shared then.

Stauffer also anticipated the industry's need for more sustainable packaging and the rise of eCommerce in the post-pandemic world.

“Consumers are looking for packaged products more than ever at the moment, but they also want to reduce, reuse and recycle, and put all this into action (...) I also believe that the trend in online commerce will continue to be challenged by this strong desire to reduce single-use plastics.”

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