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Produce pioneer Jack Pandol dies

Services are pending for Jack V. Pandol of Delano, Calif., a pioneer in the California produce industry, who died Wednesday. He was 87.

A native of Orosi, Calif., Pandol began working alongside his father right out of high school. After two years of combat service in World War II, he returned to Delano and joined his father and younger brothers Matt and Steve on the farm.

During the 1950s Jack transitioned to handling sales and marketing for the family business, Pandol Brothers, Inc. and its flagship label, “3 Brothers.”

He began direct sales to retailers, a radical departure of the terminal market auctions of the era. In the 1960s Pandol sent the first refrigerated trucks cross-country to deliver produce, bypassing railroads. By the 1970s Pandol had established export markets, utilizing cargo jets, traditional refrigerated ships and the innovative ocean containers for both import and export. About the same time, he began importing Chilean fruit products providing year-round supplies of fresh fruit in North American stores.

In the 1980s Jack put together partnerships and alliances in Asia and Latin America.

In the 1990s the Pandols began managing customer’s inventories and utilizing Internet based tools.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Winifred Pandol, his son Stephen and his children Jennifer and Andrew, daughter Maria Zebrowski and her husband Greg and son Matt, son Jack J. and his wife Carolyn and their children Jack J Jr. and Cici and son Jim Pandol.

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