Events

Spotlight Series ft. Kevin Mack

Kevin Mack
Director of Operations, Tastyfrutti International

kevin-mack-sales

CACC: How did your experiences lead you to your role at Tastyfrutti?  Did you always envision yourself involved in trade?

Kevin Mack (KM): I came into the fruit business completely by chance; I was just out of college and had no idea what I wanted to do. At that time, Dole was looking for someone to come to Philadelphia and work in the new Chilean deal they were starting. I applied for the position and got the job. Back then, the first Chilean ship arrived in January and the last ship finished in April. I would work for 4-5 months in Philadelphia and then go to California for the rest of the year, which I continued to do from 1980 to 1983. In California I would start with the growers in Coachella Valley and end with the growers in Fresno. It was a nomad life for sure, but the knowledge and experience from those 3 years were invaluable. In 1984 the Chilean deal was growing, so I decided to start my own expediting company in Philadelphia. I had that business for 2 years, and then in 1986, I joined Unifrutti of America. Andy Economou had just started Unifrutti of America in 1985. He was my boss at Dole, and I knew he was a consummate business man and would build Unifrutti of America into a large strong company. Throughout the 90’s the company grew and I continued to learn all aspects of the fruit business from the farm to the store–each year I went to Chile in the fall to meet the growers and understand the challenges they faced. We continued as Unifrutti of America until 2016, and at that point we became Tastyfrutti International, Inc.

CACC: How is your work at the Tastyfrutti connected to Chile?

KM: Although we import fruit from other countries, Chile is our main supplier. Our main fruit imports from Chile include grapes, stone fruit, pears, apples, and cherries. Over the years we have developed many strong bonds with Chilean growers and many good relationships. It is a beautiful country and every trip to Chile was a pleasure.

CACC: What is your favorite part of working within the maritime trade industry? 

KM: The maritime trade industry has been vital in advancing the Chilean deal in the Philadelphia region. The entire time I have been in the business, the maritime trade industry has promoted and helped move the Chilean deal forward into the success it is today. I enjoy working in the fruit industry and am amazed at the advances in the last 40 years. Information technology, refrigeration, logistics, food safety and new varieties have changed quite a bit since I first started. All of these fields are constantly improving and refining each year, and it is exciting to see new developments all the time.

CACC: What makes the CACC a special and valuable organization to you?

KM: The CACC is extremely valuable to our industry. They have been a leader in promoting the Chilean deal since the very beginning. The various functions the CACC hosts are excellent, but the one I look forward to the most is the Annual Friend of Chile Awards Luncheon.  It is always fun to see old friends and catch up.

Many thanks to Kevin for participating in this week’s Spotlight Series!

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