It’s an all-around draw that brings one vegetable grower/packer/shipper to Monterey, Ca. for the annual Organic Produce Summit.
“We find that going to a 100 percent organic show provides us the best opportunity to meet our existing and potential new customers,” says Dominic Etcheberria of JBJ Distributing, Inc. in Fullerton, Ca. “But the educational series is also very good. And their retail roundtable is excellent. You get a lot of information there regarding what major retailers are thinking and it gives you a lot of food for thought on how you plan your business for the coming year.”
For JBJ, approximately 85-90 percent of its products are organic so Etcheberria also appreciates the concentration on this type of growing and product. “The people are focused and come with a purpose which is organics. We’ve had great success going there and meeting new people,” he adds.
Etcheberria also appreciates the timing of the show. “We’re just entering USA production at that time and we’ll be talking about what’s coming off July through to the end of the year,” he says. “We’re just finishing up with the Mexican production and we’re always excited to start a new season in a new area.”
Full product line-up
That means JBJ will have a host of items to discuss with current and potential new customers in its booth including mini-sweet peppers out of Orange County and later Lompoc, Ca., onions and bell peppers out of Hollister, Ca. and new for JBJ, cauliflower and specialty item Romanesco out of Santa Maria.
“We were supposed to get going with production at the beginning of May but the rains and cold weather out of Santa Maria have slowed us down,” says Etcheberria. “We started in Late May and will finish by July. Then we will be out till September when we start production again through the end of the year. Early sales have been well received to date.”