Cincinnati-based manufacturer of fresh and value-added produce Chiquita Brands International has named Jim Gallagher as its new vice president of corporate sales and customer development.

Gallagher previously served as VP of sales and customer development at Fresh Express, which was acquired by Chiquita in 2005. With more than 30 years experience of sales and marketing, Gallagher has held posts with leading food companies, such as Kraft Foods, Willow Foods, Dr Pepper and Proctor & Gamble.

“As we transform Chiquita into a consumer-centric leader of healthy, fresh foods, it’s critical that we sustain premium pricing and better capture the value that we bring to our customers,” said Fernando Aguirre, chairman and chief executive officer. “During his tenure at Fresh Express, Jim has successfully validated the company’s value to its North American customers, and we hope to leverage this ability more effectively throughout Chiquita to better emphasize our advantages to customers versus competition.”

Gallagher will be responsible for combining the North American sales operations of Chiquita and Fresh Express, Aguirre said. “We are confident that through this sales integration, we can accelerate our profitable growth, strengthen customer relationships and expand distribution channels,” he continued.