Malena, International Greenhouse Produce, form distribution plan

Malena Produce and International Greenhouse Produce S.A. de C.V. have formed a marketing partnership.

Malena Produce, Nogales, Ariz., has signed a distribution agreement with International Greenhouse Produce S.A. de C.V., Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico.

International Greenhouse Produce tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers will be marketed by Malena under the new Garden Queen Brand, according to a news release. Both are third-generation family businesses.

Jim Cathey, who recently left Marengo Foods Co. LLC as vice president of sales to join Malena as sales manager, said eggplant is the only year-round item available through the partnership. Seasonal and year-round availability of other vegetables “have yet to be determined,” Cathey said in the release.

Malena CEO Gonzalo Avila said the company is known for its eggplant throughout North America and International Greenhouse Produce (owned by the Canelos family) is known for its ABC brand of greenhouse vegetables.

Malena will ship from two warehouses in Nogales, this winter, and later ship from McAllen, Texas. Malena sells a wide range of vegetables from Mexico to retailers, foodservice operators, wholesalers and brokers, according to the release.

Juan Carlos Medina recently joined the Malena sales staff. He formerly worked at Rene Produce, Nogales. Other sales staff are Sergio Manriquez, Luis Galaviz, Bill Olvey and Christian Torres.