April 12, 2018

Straight Talk: Weeks 15, 16, 17

Supply Forecast: April 8th – April 28th 

Tanimura & Antle’s harvest operations have fully made the transition northward to Oxnard, Huron, and Salinas, California. Grower/shippers that remain in the Sonoran Desert Valleys are experiencing temperatures in excess of 95 degrees resulting in a rapid decline in quality on Lettuce and Leafy Greens, and pushing customer demand to NEW crops in the San Joaquin and Salinas Valleys.

Initially, Salinas and Huron harvest was slightly behind schedule due to a mix of weather conditions during the growing period. A cold weather trend in late February/early March delayed the growth of several commodities and heightened concerns about potential freeze related quality issues. More recently, wet weather has resulted in some delayed plantings, which will likely produce numbers less than plan in late May/early June. Overall, we still fared better than last year’s (2017) transition when we experienced extreme delays due to extended periods of wet weather, missed planting dates, significantly delayed harvest, and prolonged volatility in supply.

The previously depressed market conditions of this year’s Sonoran Desert season have greatly improved since transitioning northward, most notably for Romaine. Despite weather related challenges, sizing is consistent and quality has been excellent. Looking further out, volatility of supply in late May (from March rains) will likely result another period of strong market conditions.

While Lettuce, Leafy Greens, and Cole Crops have made a timely exit from Yuma, Tanimura & Antle’s NEW crop of Artisan Sweet Italian Red Onions is gearing up for first shipments from the desert on May 1st. Our Artisan Sweet Italian Red Onions are unrivaled in quality and flavor during the summer months. Be on the lookout for our Be Bold display contest happening May 14th through July 8th at retailers across the U.S. Display bins and other point of purchase materials are available to all participating customers here.

Did You Know?

Tanimura & Antle’s food safety program is audited by, among others, the California Department of Food and Agriculture inspectors on a regular basis. 

Tanimura & Antle’s farming, harvesting and cooling operations follow a very stringent food safety system that the State of California and the leafy green industry collectively developed called Leafy Green Marketing Agreement (LGMA). The LGMAs science-based food safety system is designed to protect public health by reducing potential sources of contamination and establishes a culture of food safety on the farm.

As active members of the LGMA, Tanimura & Antle has signed this agreement and are required to implement and adhere to the food safety practices outlined in the LGMA Metrics. According to this agreement, trained food safety inspectors from the state frequently audit our operations, both announced and unannounced. Key areas of the audits include worker hygiene, animal intrusion, irrigation water safety, use of soil amendments, and equipment sanitation. For the last 10 years, with over 200 audits, Tanimura & Antle operations have never failed any of these food safety audits.

Our Community of People:

Carmen Ponce, Vice President of General Counsel Labor

Carmen began her career in the agricultural business around age seven, picking onions in the field with her family. The hard work gave her a high appreciation of the effort it takes when working in the field. Carmen graduated from the University of Santa Barbara with a major in Political Science. She also studied in France at the University of Bordeaux III and then went on to receive both a Masters in Science and Juris Doctor Degree at Georgetown University of Law.

Carmen started at Tanimura and Antle in 1996 as a bilingual lawyer due to her litigation and law related experience. Today as Vice President of General Counsel Labor, she is responsible for handling all employment related legal matters, drafting policies and contracts, and providing training and counseling as needed for staff. In 2016, Carmen received the Sam Carrillo Award in recognition of her compassion for others, high respect for peers, and eagerness to assist anyone who needs it.

Carmen has contributed as a member to several boards such as The Women’s Crisis Center Board, Center for Community Advocacy, The First Tee of Monterey Count and Future Citizens Foundation, among others. She also participates in many agriculture committees, and is a huge supporter of women empowerment, and equal labor rights.

In her free time, Carmen enjoys spending time with her daughter, Analisa. Together they enjoy watching movies, taking walks, dancing, and the pleasantries of being in one another’s company.

“Thank God, Do Good, Be Happy and life is good!” – Carmen Ponce