Monthly Archives: October 2015

Papaya leaders consider forming marketing order


ATLANTA — Papaya industry leaders got together at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2015 to discuss forming a marketing order.

A marketing order — along with a national board to implement it — would increase sales and consumption of papayas through efforts to educate consumers, receivers and retailers about handling and usage best practices, said Homero Levy de Barros, president and CEO of Pompano, Fla.-based HLB Specialities.

At the retail level, edible fruit is too often improperly rejected because of a lack of knowledge about color or other factors, he said.

Levy de Barros said he sees generally strong support for a marketing order.

“All the major importers from Brazil, Mexico and Guatemala were positively in favor,” he said. “The growers/distributors from Belize and Jamaica said they were not convinced yet.”

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Papaya industry meets to discuss formation of board



ATLANTA — Members of the international papaya industry met Oct. 23 during the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit convention, here, to discuss the formation of a national board.

Homero Levy de Barros, owner of HLB Specialties in Pompano Beach, FL, a major papaya grower-shipper-importer, is spearheading the initiative and invited William Watson, the former head of the National Mango Association and National Watermelon Promotion Board, to discuss the process of getting a board up and running.

Levy de Barros opened by thanking the more than 30 members from the main papaya-producing regions in the United States, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean for their attendance at the meeting, which he said “is about 17 years late.”

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Plan for National Papaya Board advances


Homero Levy de Barros has been around papayas his entire life. As a child growing up in Brazil, he ate them almost daily. Now as president of a tropical fruit company that bills itself as a papaya specialist, he sells them by the container. So there is very little he doesn’t know about the fruit.

And one thing he does know is that papayas have a much greater potential than they are currently realizing in the United States.

“The key is to better educate everyone in the supply chain, as well as consumers, about the many benefits of this fruit,” said Levy de Barros, who founded his company, HLB, 26 years ago in Germany and opened HLB USA in Florida 17 years ago.

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North America HLB Specialties LLC

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