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Southern Specialties

From asparagus to baby zucchini, Southern Specialties has been supplying hand-harvested specialty produce to the foodservice industry for nearly 30 years.

  • August 01, 2019

From asparagus to baby zucchini, Southern Specialties has been supplying hand-harvested specialty produce year-round for nearly 30 years. When pioneering chefs of the California Cuisine movement began to focus on unusual vegetables such as baby squash and French beans for their artful presentations, Southern Specialties saw an opportunity to provide the culinary world with something distinct. As demand for these products spread across the country, its offerings have evolved to include the latest in specialty fruits and vegetables. Today, Southern Specialties has expanded its growing regions throughout North and South America, taking advantage of the wide-ranging micro-climates where its produce can thrive.

Grown Far and Wide

Southern Specialties’ products now include distinctive offerings such as specialty peppers, peas, beans, tropical fruits, specialty lettuces, baby vegetables, berries, asparagus and more. Such plants demand unique growing conditions. Growing them sustainably, but still making them available in North America year-round, requires a far-reaching footprint and a commitment to the environment.

Responsible farming is at the heart of everything Southern Specialties does. Helpful insects are used in place of fertilizers and pesticides whenever possible, and water sources are constantly monitored to ensure food safety from start to finish. But investments in responsibility aren’t limited to the produce. Southern Specialties is also committed to the people who bring their foods to your kitchen.

Corporate Responsibility in Action

“We embrace communities in our grower network in order to make the relationship strong and have the very best, safest product we can,” says Charlie Eagle, Vice President of Business Development at Southern Specialties. “Every farm is audited to ensure they have sanitary facilities, safe working conditions and proper employee education.” Support extends into the communities that surround the farms, where Southern Specialties supplies computers for nearby schools, builds libraries, subsidizes medical care and supports local athletic events.

A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

Throughout its 25-year partnership with Sysco, a mutual passion for quality and consistency has driven Southern Specialties to pursue greater opportunities in produce sales and the highest food safety standards. “The attention to detail that Sysco demands has made us a better company,” says Eagle. “Sysco has their own quality assurance and food safety teams. They visit our facilities and our farms in various countries. Their receiving practices, their marketing initiatives are among the best in the country. And their customer base is among the best in the country.”

Whatever the weather may be outside, you can depend on Southern Specialties to provide a taste of spring or summer with fresh specialty produce, grown the right way.