MADISON — Tomato grower Backyard Farms announced Monday that Stuart Jablon has been named president and chief operating officer.

Jablon comes to Backyard Farms from Dole Food Co., where he most recently served as vice president of operations. He replaces interim president and CEO Paul Mucci, who will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors.

“This is great news for Backyard Farms,” Stephen Bell, chairman of the board of Backyard Farms, said in a press release. “Stuart is an industry veteran with extensive experience. His background and insightful understanding of the growing and produce industries have made it apparent that he is the right person to lead Backyard Farms.”

Jablon worked for Dole for more than 20 years and had been vice president of operations since 2005. In that position he was responsible for the company’s North America import operations, including logistics, quality assurance, food safety, warehousing, and worker safety and compliance, according to the release.

He previously led operations for various Dole product lines, including bananas, pineapples and other perishable fruit in North America, Latin America and Europe. Jablon also worked for Produce Exchange, a fresh produce company that specializes in tomatoes, where he directed store delivery and transportation programs.

“I have spent my entire career in this industry and I am thrilled to join Backyard Farms,” said Jablon in the release. “I am passionate about delivering premier brand fruit products to customers and at the same time doing so in a manner where I can implement and drive business strategies, profitable growth, innovation and improved efficiencies. Backyard Farms has a unique business model and selling proposition in the Northeast. I look forward to working with the entire Backyard Farms team to continually look for ways to improve the business and maximize the company’s potential.”

Backyard Farms, which is owned by Boston-based Fidelity Investments, opened its first commercial greenhouse in Madison in 2006. It produces about 27 million pounds of tomatoes a year and employs about 200 people.

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