Tasteful Selections® and RPE, its exclusive sales and marketing partner, have formed a new entity: Tasteful Partners. As part of the arrangement, Tasteful Partners is acquiring RPE and closed on the sale last week.
The deal creates synergies as well as alignment and integration opportunities across Tasteful Selections and RPE, said Bob Bender, Tasteful Selections chief executive officer. The new Tasteful Partners entity is a wholly-owned CSS Farms subsidiary.
“This action will further align our agribusinesses while better leveraging RPE as a strategic asset to help Tasteful Selections continue growing,” said Bender.
RPE was established in 1971 and is in its 50th year. It sells 1.2 billion pounds of potatoes per year, equivalent of 125 truckloads per day. The Tasteful Selections-RPE partnership has been in place since Tasteful Selections began growing and packing potatoes in 2010.
The creation of Tasteful Partners consolidates RPE expertise, proprietary data, category insight, intellectual property and sales strategy assets with Tasteful Selections planting, growing, harvesting and packing processes.
Consolidating Tasteful Selections and RPE in the new entity allows Tasteful Selections to better serve its customers as a vertically-integrated operation from seed to field to packing and the customer sale, said Bender. “Tasteful Selections already understands and appreciates the value RPE provides. We want to continue on the growth trajectory we’re on while building upon RPE’s well-established reputation as a produce industry-leading innovation and solutions provider,” said Bender.
The familiarity and trust built during 12 years working together will be beneficial during what RPE chief executive officer Russell Wysocki anticipates will be a seamless transition. “The collaborative spirit that sustained us during more than a decade of rapid Tasteful Selections expansion provides a solid foundation for continued growth,” said Wysocki, noting five facility expansions of the Arvin, CA-based facility since 2014.
In the new organizational structure, Wysocki remains the RPE chief executive officer. He and the RPE management team will report to a newly-formed Tasteful Partners Board of Directors.
“We are very thankful and fortunate to have such wonderful team members across our family of companies,” Wysocki added. “They are valuable contributors and integral to our continued success.”
RPE, prior to formation of Tasteful Partners, was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wysocki Family of Companies. WFC remains a family-owned, privately-held organization focused on its three core businesses: Eagle River Seed Farm, Wysocki Produce Farm and Paragon Potato Farms.