At the United Fresh convention in Chicago, The Packergave its Man of the Year Award to Joe Pezzini of Ocean Mist Farms. Because Joe is the Chairman of the Board for the California Leafy Greens Handler Marketing Agreement, he is the personification of all the industry’s effort to enhance food safety since the spinach E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak last fall.
We asked Eric Schwartz, President of Dole Fresh Vegetables, who serves as Vice Chairman of the Marketing Agreement board, to say a few words on Joe’s behalf:
I like to kid Joe that at the time the Leafy Greens board was looking for a board chairman, we all pulled a “three stooges” routine and took one step back and because Joe was on crutches at the time, he couldn’t step back fast enough so he got caught out in front.
All kidding aside, Joe has demonstrated exceptional leadership in this industry and has never been motivated by other than improving how we operate and gaining the trust of our consumers. He has a unique talent for bridging all aspects of our industry through great situational awareness, and he has a tremendous ability to bring together many very diverse viewpoints from both private and regulatory concerns.
We could not have asked for a better fit when it comes to progressing the value that both the Grower Shipper Association of Central California and the Leafy Greens Advisory Board bring to this industry.
Yes, in addition to chairing the Marketing Agreement board, Joe is also the Chairman of the Grower Shipper Association of Central California, which just goes to show how consistently Joe is trusted to wear his industry hat when dealing with industry issues.
That kind of respect is a rare commodity and a crucial one for bridging differences and getting the industry to work together for the common good.
Many congratulations to Joe and to Ocean Mist Farms.