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Georgia Produce Innovator
Wednesday, 06 February 2013

February 6--  A Georgia produce company has found a way to get around voids in the growing season.

Because you can't grow many vegetables during the winter in Georgia, Southern Valley Fruit and Vegetable in Moultrie started its own produce company in Mexico, according to its Director of Operations, Jon Schwalls.

"A lot of the crops we grow are cold sensitive crops and there is no U.S. production, so a lot of the consumption during that time of year is an offshore product.   We needed a more stable supply chain during the entire year so we wouldn't lose that connection with our customers and it has given us the opportunity for more growth," he said.

Schwalls was a speaker at the University of Georgia-sponsored economic forecast meeting in Lyons.

He's been in agri-business for the past 17 years and has some advice for young people looking for careers, try agriculture.

"I'm not a farmer.  I'm engaged in business everyday.  We're an ag company but we employ accountants, salesman, managers, agronomists, market research and marketing folks, electricians and we just employ a large variety of people to make it all come together.  There's an incredible amount of opportunity.

"I'd encourage any kid who is interested to look on the internet for the Produce Marketing Association and get your eyes open on how big a field it really is," Schwalls said.

He says the produce and vegetable business is an $800 billion dollar a year industry in the United States.



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