J&J Produce, which specializes in growing cucumbers, Bell peppers, squash, tomatoes and eggplant, has recently hired several new employees in the areas of operations, sales and food safety. The additions will help the company as it continues to grow and expand to a national platform.
David Beecher joined J&J as its new vice president of operations. He will be responsible for facility operations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Arizona and the Dominican Republic. Over the past 13 years, Beecher has gained experience in the produce industry by working for Bland Farms, Rosemont Farms and IFCO Systems.
“J&J is a well-established company with a diversified customer base, in both the foodservice and retail divisions,” Beecher said in a press release. “They have a strong management team and private-equity partner that are both in support of the national growth opportunities. I am very excited about helping the company continue to implement these best practices.”
Mike Bentel, new vice president of food safety and responsibility, has more than 20 years of experience at NSF International, Naturipe Farms and Walmart. His experience includes certifications in ISO 22000, HACCP, GAP and active industry roles with the United Fresh, PMA and FDA on food-safety and technology issues.
“While J&J has always been a proactive leader in food safety, Mike will assist in taking us to the next level as we continue to develop our national sales plan with international sourcing to compliment our domestic production,” Brian Rayfield, vice president of business development and marketing, said in the release.
As part of the company’s regional expansion plans, Brian Helms has been hired as assistant division manager to help with the day-to-day management of the White Pine, TN, facility. Helms’ previous experience with regional and national retail and foodservice companies provides a long history of experience in produce.
“J&J was immediately the first company I thought of when I made the decision to move out of distribution and into the grower-packer side of the business,” he said. “The chance to be apart of the J&J team and their continuing growth is truly exciting.”
New to the sales and marketing department is industry veteran Chris Paul, who has experience in various positions, ranging from quality control to purchasing and sales. According to Paul, “This is a great opportunity to sell and market all varieties of produce from a well-respected company focused on quality.” He will head up the newly opened Midwest office based in New Glarus, WI.
“This is an exciting time to be a part of J&J Produce,” said Rayfield. “Aggressive business goals and capital expansions are creating new pathways for business growth to meet the needs of new and existing companies and talented people in every part of our business make that possible.”