Westfalia Fruit announced today that Raina Nelson has been appointed President of its USA operations, from the end of August 2021. Nelson, a well-known trailblazer in the global produce industry, will succeed outgoing President, Art Bruno, who retires after six years at Westfalia Marketing USA.
Nelson is a practiced business leader whose diverse experience in the fresh-produce industry includes marketing, procurement, food safety, sales and supply chain. Nelson joins Westfalia Fruit’s global leadership team to lead the USA’s fully integrated business in providing 100% US coverage and beyond from its own and selected partner orchards.
Nelson is currently the Vice Chairperson for the Southeast Produce Council, and serves on the Executive Committee of the United Fresh Produce Association. While most recently serving as the Executive Vice President of Business Development for Calavo Growers, with specific focus on their Renaissance Food Group Division, Nelson led a spectrum of business development and corporate initiatives at Calavo Growers. She has also previously worked with C.H. Robinson and Del Monte Fresh. She holds a BSc in Food Science and Human Nutrition (2001) and MSc in Food Microbiology (2003) from the University of Florida.
“Westfalia Fruit is very pleased to welcome Raina to its global leadership team,” says Alk Brand, CEO of Westfalia Fruit Group. “Her experience and knowledge of the market are undeniable assets to Westfalia, the global avocado market leader. Avocado consumption per head in the USA is one of the highest globally, and the USA is therefore a key business territory for Westfalia. This presents many opportunities in developing the market, which I am confident Raina and the team can meet head on. Her contribution to upholding our diverse geographic footprint and annual 52-weeks supply will be invaluable.”
“I am excited to join the Westfalia Fruit Group.” says Nelson. “The company’s global avocado network is unparalleled. The vision to advance purpose-driven strategies in the US is an incredible opportunity. Their impressive environmental, social and economic objectives prove a strong commitment to sustainability and overall excellence. I look forward to working with the Westfalia Fruit global team and leading the US team to build upon the great work Art and his team have begun.”