Samba swings into supermarkets

Publication date: January 25, 2021

HLB’s new papaya variety is already available in Europe and is now set to launch in the UK Exotics specialist HLB Specialties has launched a new papaya variety to bring cheer to consumers during their winter confinement. Samba, a proprietary variety developed by some of the company’s growers in Brazil, is slightly larger than a […]

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Hurricanes create unprecedented situation for Central American rambutan growers

Publication date: November 18, 2020

A rambutan importer was on Monday anticipating an unprecedented situation for growers in Central America, which was preparing for the imminent arrival of Hurricane Iota even as it recovered from another storm that struck just days before. The storm hit Nicaragua earlier this week with sustained winds of 155 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. It […]

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Hurricane Nana brought more rain to already wet Guatemala papaya season

Publication date: September 4, 2020

Hurricane Nana made landfall in a sparsely populated part of Belize right after midnight on Thursday morning. From there, Nana weakened to a tropical storm, pushing across Guatemala on Thursday. “The storm affected the northern part of Guatemala, the heart of our papaya growing region,” said Andres Ocampo with HLB Specialties. “Fortunately, Nana had turned […]

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Lower rambutan volumes but steady demand on US market right now

Publication date: July 19, 2020

One of these products is rambutan, which is currently being sourced from Guatemala and Mexico. Andrés Ocampo of HLB Specialties, located in Florida, says: “We are currently sourcing our rambutan from Guatemala. The season started late April, early May in the Pacific region, which is just across the border from Mexico. Then, as the season […]

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“Every week, we have to adapt to new carriers and transit routes”

Publication date: April 17, 2020

Nowadays, consumers are used to being able to buy many fruit and vegetable items all year long. Although in-season much is grown domestically, some fruit and vegetable varieties are almost exclusively imported. Papayas are one of these items and 97.7 percent of consumption is grown outside the US, according to the USDA. What is the […]

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Suppliers detail COVID-19 effect on business, outlook— Part 2

Publication date: April 8, 2020

Published by: Produce Retailer Continued … Specialties Andres Ocampo, CEO of HLB Specialties, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said that some offshore suppliers of specialty produce have been limited by the lack of freight in passenger planes. “For markets serviced only by passenger planes, it’s been a big blow,” Ocampo said. “For markets serviced by air freighters […]

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Coronavirus upends global food supply chains in latest economic shock

Publication date: April 8, 2020

Published by: Reuters LAND, SEA & AIR In addition to the trucking problems, a sharp decline in air traffic has cut deeply into capacity to move fresh produce long distances.Slideshow (13 Images) Andres Ocampo, chief executive of HLB Specialties LLC, a fruit importer based in Miami, Florida, relied on commercial flights to shift papayas and other […]

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Will expansion of its fumigation facility increase overall produce shipments?

Publication date: March 4, 2020

Port of Miami specializes in tropical and exotic produce South Florida is an important gateway for produce from South America arriving into the United States. Both the Port of Miami and Port Everglades have been specializing in handling produce, especially tropical and exotic items. Not only do these ports serve the Southeastern United States, produce […]

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Melissa Hartmann de Barros on HLB’s 30th anniversary and the company’s expansion

Publication date: January 24, 2020

2019 marks the 30th anniversary of HLB, a family-owned company who started off importing fish into Germany. Since its founding, the company has grown to two independent branches – HLB Tropical Food in Germany, and HLB Specialties in Florida – and helped open up and develop numerous markets for exotic fruits. The company began their […]

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