Tanimura & Antle Celebrates 40 Years of Sustainable Innovation
SALINAS, Ca. (Thursday, November 10th) – On this day 40 years ago, two families who migrated to the Salinas Valley chasing the California dream, shook hands and established a company that would impact the fresh produce and agriculture industry forever. Built upon a long-standing partnership of trust, perseverance and decades of industry knowledge, Tanimura & Antle announced today the celebration of reaching their 40th company anniversary milestone as the industry’s leading, vertically integrated grower-shippers of premium fresh produce.
“I am truly amazed each and every day of the dedication, hard work and pride that each employee has for Tanimura & Antle. It is a culture that cannot be purchased and is very difficult to replicate,” said Scott Grabau, President & CEO of Tanimura & Antle. “40 years of trust between the owners, the employees, the community and industry has been built one box and one year at a time. I am excited for everyone here for this great milestone and thankful for each and every employee that will be part of the next 40 years to come.”
When founding Tanimura & Antle in 1982, the Company set out on a mission to be the industry leader in quality, service and innovation and earned the reputation of consistently having the best quality premium fresh produce; building a loyal following of customers and consumer fans across the United States, Canada and beyond. Over the last 40 years, the Company has consistently and relentlessly pursued sustainable innovations to address growing industry issues, ensuring their ability to build their legacy for years to come. From early innovations on the farm such as drip tape, GPS machinery and custom harvest machines to early innovations in product development with salad kits, packaging, being first to market on new seed varieties and building a state of the art hydroponics facility – Tanimura & Antle has never been afraid to invest in the future of fresh produce.
“It’s humbling to look back at how far we’ve come as a company and partnership in the last 40 years. Growing up in the company gave me the unique opportunity to experience the early years as a child, being on the farm with my family and the Tanimuras before becoming an employee as soon as I was old enough to do so,” said Brian Antle, Executive Vice President of Sales. “Growing up during those times and having the opportunity to be a part of shaping Tanimura & Antle into what it is today is something that gives me great pride. What we have accomplished in 40 years is not only a testament to the strong partnership between the Tanimura and Antle families, but also a result of the hard work of so many people. Without the dedication of every single employee at Tanimura & Antle, none of this would be possible and this is truly a day to thank every employee from day one to today for their loyalty, commitment and hard work towards the Tanimura & Antle vision.”
Today, Tanimura & Antle continues their legacy in fresh produce and agriculture innovation as an employee and family owned Company. As the cost of farming inputs continue to rise, skilled labor becomes increasingly difficult to find and sustainability continues to be a key industry focus, the Company has invested in a number of agriculture innovations to address growing industry issues. The Company acquired an automated transplanting company, PlantTape, in 2014, for commercial development and today, growers use the system across the globe for a variety of crops. In Livingston, Tennessee, the Company has a state of the art greenhouse facility that grows a variety of greenhouse grown lettuces with 90% less water. Tanimura & Antle became one of the only grower shippers to invest in their own seed supply in the early 2000’s when they acquired a local seed company; giving them a direct line of sight to seed development and upcoming new products. In response to the industry’s critical need for reliable automated farm machinery, the Company started Stout Industrial Technology in 2019 and now utilizes the Stout Smart Cultivator, an automated, AI powered weeder, throughout their farms, further decreasing their reliance on scarce skilled labor. Most recently, in 2021, the Company acquired Green City Growers, an urban farming company based in Boston, MA, that provides communities, organizations and individuals with hands-on experience and education on where their food comes from through local gardens.
Farming operations are not the only area of the industry that the Company innovates and leads by example. The Tanimura and Antle family members have always viewed employees are part of their extended family and lead the industry in employee relations. In 2016, Tanimura & Antle opened the first-of-its-kind employee-housing complex, Spreckels Crossing, to address the growing labor shortage and housing crisis in the Salinas Valley. Today, multiple other grower shippers have used Spreckels Crossing as an example for similar employee housing complexes. The Tanimura and Antle family members also share a portion of Company ownership with employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) that was launched in 2017. In addition, the Company continues to provide access to full medical benefits (health, vision, dental), a matched 401k, a variety of seasonal bonuses, a scholarship program, paid vacation and sick time, jury duty leave, life insurance and more for all employees throughout their operations.
“It’s hard to believe it has been 40 years since we started Tanimura & Antle. It is amazing to see what my Uncle George’s idea and vision has evolved to today. The Tanimura’s originally started out on the growing side of the business. But once Tanimura & Antle was founded, Keith Tanimura and I had the opportunity to learn about the industry as a whole and its been an incredible journey,” said Gary Tanimura, Executive Director. “l appreciate all of our dedicated and hardworking employees who have helped us reach this important milestone and 40 year legacy.”
Since 1982, the challenges of growing and shipping premium quality fresh produce have become far more complex. However, with decades of experience under their belt, Tanimura & Antle optimistically and enthusiastically looks forward to what the future holds while navigating the next 40 years of challenges in order to continue to provide premium fresh produce to consumers and customers nationwide and beyond.