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NAPLES, Fla. -Bruce Peterson, former s.v.p./perishables at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., has joined Naturipe Farms based here as its new president and c.e.o.
Peterson, a 37-year produce industry veteran, most recently was president of a startup venture to establish global traceability guidelines for fresh foods. Prior to that, Peterson spent fifteen years at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., where he successfully launched and built the discount mega-merchant's perishable foods division.
Naturipe Farms LLC - comprised of partner co-ops Michigan Blueberry Growers Association, Naturipe Berry Growers and the Chilean-owned Hortifruta - is a grower and marketer of a full line of conventional, organic and premium berries available throughout the year and marketed under the Naturipe Farms brand. Peterson replaces John Shelford, who served as Naturipe's president since its founding in 2000.
Peterson, who resigned from Wal-Mart as its perishables s.v.p. in March, was at the forefront of the retailer's Supercenter expansion efforts, which grew from six to 1,500 stores in 15 years. He introduced reusable plastic containers (RPCs) to the United States produce industry, and was a leading advocate of RFID and other technologies to increase perishable supply chain efficiencies.