(Fargo, ND) December 9, 2013 – Specialty Commodities, Inc. (SCI) announces the acquisition of LATITUDE 1, a nut processor located in Stockton, CA. The move is part of SCI’s vision to become a leading, safe supply chain solution for food manufacturers whose brands include nut, seed, dried fruit and specialty grain ingredients.
“Several years ago, we set our safe ingredient strategy in motion with the acquisition of Lodi Nut and the launch of our Specialty Food Ingredient division,” explains SCI CEO, Larry Leitner. “Since then, we’ve invested in a steam pasteurization line, new x-ray and pouching lines, and warehouse expansion. The addition of LATITUDE 1 brings new capabilities as well as added capacity. We are privileged to have Richard and Yoshiko’s team join us.”
LATITUDE 1 was founded by partners Richard Kreis and Yoshiko Sato. In just 10 years, LATITUDE 1 has become the nut processor for some of the nation’s leading food manufacturers. Its Stockton, CA plant will continue operating, while taking on the Specialty Food Ingredients name.
“Since we launched our company, our goal has been to provide the highest level of safety and quality to our customers. This year, we achieved SQF Level 3 status, and now we feel we can continue growing, thanks to the global sourcing and financial strength that Specialty brings to us,” commented Kreis and Sato.
Both Kreis and Sato will take on key management positions in the growing food ingredient division. The combined plant operations will be managed by Specialty Food Ingredients’ current Lodi operation’s General Manager, Greg Gorang, a 20+-year veteran of the nut processing industry.
The multi-site Specialty Food Ingredients (SFI) offers steam-vacuum pasteurization that includes a chemical-free validated 5log kill step for macadamias, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds; dry roasting, oil roasting, dicing, retail packaging and product cleaning services.