October 2019 - 1
virus-resistant seed lines
prospered for vegetable
We introduce our Fruit
+ Vegetable 40 Under
40 award winners
October 2019 | Volume 53 |
Driscoll's growth starts with plant
Augustine Renteria explains how strawberries are produced at Driscoll's breeding facility in Aromas, California. Photos: Gary Pullano
By Gary Pullano
Augustine Renteria has been with
Driscoll's for 31 years. Please excuse him
if he treats the strawberry plants he is
nurturing at the mega berry company's
California breeding grounds as children.
To him, that's exactly what they are.
" The varieties are similar to humans, "
said the farm manager of The Company
Ranch in Aromas, California, near
Driscoll's headquarters. " With the plants
- when you put them in the ground in
late October and November - and then
winter comes, the plant looks like a baby
when it's a newborn. The plant will not
talk. Winter comes, and then we don't
see the plants moving. I see the plants
every day in the winter. When the winter
is almost over, in March, normally, the
weather changes. Then, from one week to
another, you can see the response of the
plant. Then the plant is starting to take
off. A newborn child can't talk. Maybe he
has a stomachache, but we can't always
know that because he can't talk until after
a year or so. It's the same thing with the
strawberry plants. "
Renteria was one of the hosts for a group
of retailers and buyers visiting Driscoll's as
a prelude to the Organic Produce Summit
(see related story below) held out of
Monterey, California, in early July.
Strawberries are California's fourthhighest-grossing
crop, and 88% of the
strawberries in the United States are
grown there. Renteria is part of Driscoll's
effort to remain the market leader.
Driscoll's 20-acre breeding facility
features 10 acres of plantings - half of
which are non-fumigated - where eight
varieties were trialed this summer, in
preparation for possible production by the
company's cadre of independent growers.
" Some varieties do pretty well here, but
See DRISCOLL'S, page 5
Organic growth in the spotlight
By Gary Pullano
The organic industry is on an upward
path, a movement that was on full display at
the 2019 Organic Produce Summit.
The fourth annual event, held in July in
Monterey, California, attracted more than
1,600 attendees. The trade show floor had
148 exhibitors, and organizers said the
event brought in 260 retailers.
The pre-conference included field tours
of Ocean Mist Organic, Driscoll's, Taylor
Farms, Braga Fresh Family Farms, and
Tanimura & Antle facilities and operations.
Keynote presentations included author
and vice president of RePlant Capital,
Robyn O'Brien, and Dan Barber, chef and
author of a New York Times best-selling
book called " The Third Plate: Field Notes
on the Future of Food. " A retail roundtable
discussion and other educational
workshops also were part of the activities.
The event held in the Monterey
Conference Center will return to
Monterey next year, organizers said. An
Organic Grower Summit will be held this
December in the same location.
" We're just thrilled with the overall
response and feedback that we got from
retailers and the entire organic community, "
said Matt Seely, co-founder of event
organizer Organic Produce Network.
In its first four years of existence, the
Organic Produce Summit has doubled
its attendance and significantly increased
both its exhibit space and the number
of exhibitors. It also has upped its game
with retailer participation and continued
offering well-known speakers that bring a
connection to the organic produce world.
" The number of the retailers continues
to increase each year, but more than that
it's the quality and leadership abilities of
those retailers that make a difference, "
Seely said. " We strive to provide the
best information and education about
the growing organic produce category.
And with our various networking
opportunities, retailers and suppliers tell
us we are hitting the mark as an event
where business gets done. "
See ORGANIC, page 12
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of October 2019
October 2019 - 1
October 2019 - 2
October 2019 - 3
October 2019 - 4
October 2019 - 5
October 2019 - 6
October 2019 - 7
October 2019 - 8
October 2019 - 9
October 2019 - 10
October 2019 - 11
October 2019 - 12
October 2019 - 13
October 2019 - 14
October 2019 - 15
October 2019 - 16
October 2019 - 17
October 2019 - 18
October 2019 - 19
October 2019 - 20
October 2019 - 21
October 2019 - 22
October 2019 - 23
October 2019 - 24
October 2019 - 25
October 2019 - 26
October 2019 - 27
October 2019 - 28
October 2019 - 29
October 2019 - 30
October 2019 - 31
October 2019 - 32
October 2019 - 33
October 2019 - 34
October 2019 - 35
October 2019 - 36
October 2019 - 37
October 2019 - 38
October 2019 - 39
October 2019 - 40