MIAMI, FL – This too shall pass. Albert Perez starts our conversation with this simple but powerful statement as we catch up after what feels like months of riding a market rollercoaster. But, it has not yet slowed its roll. The CEO and Grower Relations leader for Continental Fresh is filled with more gratitude than anything else as he seeks to find a silver lining in the challenging events of the day—and new packaging is a great place to start.
« In late March, as the U.S. went on lockdown, all produce sales hit their own unique roadblocks. For Continental Fresh, our challenges felt heartbreaking at first, but then came that glimmer of opportunity and hope, » Albert shares. « The interesting thing is that our brand new labels, Food For Humanity and Water for All, which were created with the purpose of giving back, really had a chance to take their missions seriously and the pandemic actually jump-started our campaigns in a big way. »
The company saw its labels in food lines and news stories all across the country. Being able to support a great cause ended up being good business—this was exactly why Continental Fresh team aligned its business model with a passion to help others.
The eye-catching labels, Food For Humanity and Water for All for the company’s vegetables and fresh mangos respectively, help fund clean water projects in Latin America. Clean water is the most basic human need, and Continental Fresh is seeking to make a difference for the 780 million people that lack access to it around the world.
Each mango has a waterdrop-shaped barcode PLU sticker that guides consumers to the website www.bluemissions.org where they can get more information about Continental Fresh’s projects. Albert and the team firmly believe that today’s consumer wants to buy something that stands for something: a program that gives them a chance to connect with the global need for water and learn more about what we are doing. Sales of the company’s socially conscious labels, including Food For Humanity and Water For All, have already surpassed 1 million cases and with Continental Fresh’s .01¢ per case donation to BLUE Missions, that means over $10,000 has been raised.
“We project total donations to surpass $25,000 by year’s end,” Albert says with a hopeful smile. “Despite the terrible things this pandemic has brought, one day we will look back on the special times we spent with our families, making home-cooked meals, playing board games, watching movies, and cherishing quality time. May we all emerge a more compassionate and resilient industry that is better, stronger, and faster.”
There are gifts we can find in any crisis and people who will go to any lengths to help, even if it is just one drop of water, one vegetable, and one mango at a time.