Paramount entry seen as game-changer in Rio Grande Valley

11/12/2013 04:37:00 PM
Jim Offner

“In Year 1, we ended up using the existing computer systems and IT structure from each of those businesses and our California operation also, so we had three different operating platforms in Year 1,” he said.

That’s not the case anymore, he said.

“We spent the off-season this season this summer implementing our system in Texas, and now we’re all on a common platform, and our communication is excellent,” he said.

Most of the remnants of Rio Queen and Healds Valley — including most labels — have disappeared, Krause said.

“Our role is going to be to operate as the industry leader with a significant share by adding these two together under one Paramount platform,” he said.

The existing grower networks were keys to the acquisitions, Krause said.

“Our grower-partners down there are very important to the success of the business and largely why we acquired the two businesses — not just the acreage that the companies are on but also the grower-partners that we picked up. And we hope to continue to expand that also,” he said.

There are more than 40 growers in Paramount’s Texas network, he said.

Once an outsider where the Texas citrus deal was concerned, now Paramount finds itself the industry leader.

“We like the leadership position and in its augmentation to the rest of our product offerings and what it does for us as a business,” Krause said.

Paramount had been looking to move into Texas for several years, Krause said.

“It wasn’t until sort of a right set of circumstances presented itself from the two entities that were, in fact, willing to sell,” he said.

Jeffrey Arnold, salesman for the Edinburg-based Edinburg Citrus Association, said Paramount is a major presence but that presence should have limited effect on his organization’s business.

“Fortunately for us, our customers like to buy from the little guy, and because we are a grower cooperative, we have increased our acreage by 35% this year,” Arnold said.

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