Bob Ritchart, a 25-year veteran of produce sales, grower management and employee development has joined the Fresh-Link team as General Manager of the Eastern division, located in South Georgia. In this role, Bob will be responsible for increasing growers throughout the Southeast to meet the rapid growth of the division, increasing commodity offerings and adding additional sales professionals.
Ritchart started his produce career in1996 with C.H. Robinson Company in their Tampa office brokering melons and importing tropical items from South America. From there he moved to Rosemont Farms where he continued with imports and began working with eastern growers, eventually moving into management. In 2013, he joined Sweet Life Farms as Sales Manager for strawberries and cantaloupe out of Plant City, and then two years later moved to GA to manage dry veg sales for Lewis Taylor Farms. In 2019, Bob took a break from the produce industry to fulfill a “lifelong dream” of entering the field of law enforcement. He served as a patrolman for a South Georgia police department for almost two years. Then, at the end of 2020, he started talking with the Fresh-Link team as the desire to get back into the world of produce was still strong.
“When I started talking with Fresh-Link about returning to the produce industry to assist them with increasing growers and commodities, I felt it was a perfect fit for my skill set” Bob said. “I was excited to accept the offer because Fresh-Link is heavily concentrated in food service and with my background in retail, would be an excellent complement to Fresh-Link’s current customer base.”
According to Robert Harper, Fresh-Link’s Chief Operating Officer, “Bob’s attention to detail and outstanding support of both customers and growers makes him a great fit to lead the division.” Harper continues, “His infectious positive attitude and desire to benefit the whole company fits the culture promoted at all of the IFS companies.”
Based in New Jersey, Integrated Fresh Solutions is the parent company of Fresh-Link Produce, LLC and Kool Logistics, LLC, a third-party transportation company.