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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Steve Lyle, Director of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462 ,

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #07-017
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Participation now more than 90 percent of volume

SACRAMENTO, February 13, 2007 – CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura has appointed a 13-member advisory board of directors for the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement. Each board member represents a signatory to the agreement. The appointees are as follows:

Salinas-Watsonville-San Joaquin Valley-Kern County District
Tom Nunes, The Nunes Company  Joe Pezzini, Ocean Mist Farms
Jamie Strachan, Growers Express LLC  Alec Leach, Taylor Farms
Eric Schwartz, Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc. John D’Arrigo, D’Arrigo Bros of California
Dave Eldridge, NewStar Fresh Foods  

Oxnard-Santa Maria District
Chris Deardorff, Deardorff Family Farms         Ryan Talley, Talley Farms   
Mitch Ardantz, Bonita Packing Company

Blythe-Imperial Valley District
Jack Vessey, Vessey and Company        Eric Wexler, Tanimura and Antle
Joe Colace, Five Crowns Marketing

10 alternates have been named, as well. They are:

Salinas-Watsonville-San Joaquin Valley-Kern County District
Bardin Bengard, Bengard Ranch Inc.  Charles Sweat, Earthbound Farms
Tom Russell, Pacific International Marketing Andrew Cummings, Metz Fresh
Ron Ratto, Ratto Bros Inc.   Steve Church, Church Bros Produce
Phil Adrian, Coastline (Sunridge Farms) 

Oxnard-Santa Maria District
George Boscovich, Boscovich Farms         Glenn Teixeira, Teixeria Farms  
Victor Tognazzini, Gold Coast Farms, Inc.

A public member will also be named.

The board will work together to make recommendations on the operation of the marketing agreement to the secretary and CDFA, which act as facilitators as defined in the California Marketing Act of 1937.   

The first meeting of the board has been scheduled for Friday February 23, at 9 a.m., at the Heidrick Ag History Center, 1962 Hays Ln., Woodland, CA.

This meeting's notice, agenda and location map are available at the top of the CDFA Marketing Branch homepage.

The marketing agreement was created by the leafy greens industry and will utilize an inspection program to verify that leafy greens handlers are complying with their own standards. Handlers are middlemen through whom the product moves from field to retail.

To date, signatories participating in the marketing agreement represent more than 90 percent of leafy greens produced in California. Sign-ups will be accepted until April 1.  

A link to the marketing agreement may be found here: California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing Agreement (PDF)

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814