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The Nominations Are In

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has sent the California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing Agreement out to the handlers to see how many sign up. There are no hard and fast rules but basically, the CDFA will look to see that a sufficient number of handlers, representing a sufficient portion of production, sign up so that the marketing agreement can achieve its intended purpose. If the CDFA activates the agreement, it will need to appoint people to serve on the advisory board. The initial board comprises 13 members and 13 alternates. There are 34 nominees, though in Oxnard there were only two nominees for three seats. The one nominee for a public seat — which may or may not be filled — is a dairy consultant and therefore probably not a sensible choice to represent the interests of the general public.

The nominees are a “Who’s Who” of California Leafy Green products agriculture. The Pundit has many friends among them. What is not clear is how a board composed of California growers and processors will help to build regulatory and consumer confidence. We think the board would serve its purpose better if a big chunk of seats had been given over to independent scientists, academics, etc.

Here are the nominees for the initial board. The CDFA makes the decision.


Tom Nunes — Nunes Company
Dave Eldredge — NewStar Fresh Foods
Tom Russell — Pacific International Marketing
Joe Pezzini — Ocean Mist
John D’Arrigo — D’Arrigo Brothers
Eric Schwartz — Dole Food Company
Mike Costa — Costa Farms
Jamie Strachan — Growers Express
Phil Adrian — Coastline
Alec Leach — Taylor Farms
Andrew Cummin — Metz Fresh
Steve Church — Church Bros.
John Tamagni — Tamagni Farms
Bardin Bengard — Bengard Ranches
Nikolas Montori — Salyer American

San Joaquin Valley
Gerald Davis — Grimmway
Ron Ratto — Ratto Brothers
Don DeVine — Double D Farms

Chris Deardorff — Deardorff Family Farms
Jaime Monteil — Ventura Veg

Santa Maria
John Jackson — Beachside Produce
Mitch Ardantz — Bonita Packing
Ryan Talley — Talley Farms
Glenn Teixeira — Teixeira Farms
Craig Reade — Betteravia Farms
John Schaefer — Gold Coast Packing
Victor Tognazzini — Gold Coast Farms, Inc.

El Centro/Blythe
Jack Vessey — Vessey and Company
Larry Cox — Larry Cox Farms
Ralph Strahm — Strahm Farming Company
Eric Wexler — Tanimura and Antle
Joe Colace — Five Crowns Marketing
Bart Fisher — Fisher Ranches

Public Member
Ed McGrew

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