Leafy Greens Battle

Not long after the E. coli outbreak in bagged spinach in 2006, California and Arizona each came up with their own leafy greens marketing agreements. The programs in both states are voluntary.

Last summer, a voluntary National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (NLGMA) was proposed. The proponent group for the agreement includes United Fresh Produce Association, Produce Marketing Association, and Western Growers, among several others. If established, only handlers who sign on to the marketing agreement would be subject to the agreement’s requirements.

In September and October, hearings were held in various locations across the country, allowing the public to offer comments in support or opposition of the agreement.

Feedback From Ohio

Last month, Columbus, OH, hosted one of the hearings. Representatives from United Fresh Produce Association and Western Growers were in attendance.
Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of United, had this to say in his testimony: “It is important to state from the beginning that we support this initiative because it is indeed voluntary for leafy greens handlers. If USDA moves forward with this agreement, it is entirely up to the individual handlers whether they want to participate.” He also said that many leafy greens growers outside of California and Arizona would like the ability to demonstrate their own compliance with a national set of best practices, and they should have the ability to participate if they so choose.

Several Ohio growers in opposition to the agreement also had their voices heard. Many of these growers said they are concerned that if they don’t participate, they will lose business. The overall consensus, they said, is that in the long term, there will be a preference to those involved in the agreement.
In addition, the Ohio growers also said they are worried about the metrics for the NLGMA, indicating that the proposed agreement is very similar to the ones in California and Arizona.

As of now, the metrics have not been established, and these growers said they are worried that once the agreement is adopted, they would have no control over the metrics. The proposed agreement calls for the U.S. to be divided into five zones. Ohio falls into Zone 4, which also includes several other states.

Some Ohio growers at the hearing said that cultural practices in Ohio are very different — just across the state, let alone throughout several states. Jeff Zellers, of K.W. Zellers & Sons in Hartville, OH, said that “adopting regulation without the metrics being agreed upon is a recipe for disaster.”

In his testimony, Stenzel addressed some of these concerns, saying that the agreement would not be California’s system. He said that the proposed agreement would involve input and leadership from all regions. And, he also said that national regulation of leafy greens production is likely to be coming soon from FDA, regardless of what occurs with the marketing agreement.

For more information on the proposed agreement and to read testimony from the hearings, go to www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/moab.

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Long lunch line at 2015 Florida Ag Expo
Florida Ag Expo
September 30, 2016
The Florida Ag Expo Serves Growers [Opinion]
This annual industry gathering is such an important event, Jack Payne, Senior VP of UF/IFAS, has invited his entire leadership team — including the directors of all 12 UF/IFAS research centers and 14 academic department chairs — to participate. Read More
heartland-events-corn-maze-feature
Farm Marketing
September 29, 2016
Kids Up For Adoption Get A Boost From Heartland Maze
The Heartland Maze has gone the extra mile and created a maze design that promotes a cause. Together with a Read More
plate-of-the-union-screen-cap-feature
Farm Marketing
September 29, 2016
Coalition To Presidential Candidates: Reform America’s Food System
The coalition Plate Of The Union would like local farms to play a more central roll in U.S. food policy. Read More
A thorough assessment of nematode populations by conducting soil sampling and laboratory examination is essential before deciding on soil fumigation.  (Photo credit:  Almond Board of California)
Nuts
September 29, 2016
Use Soil Sampling To Inform Your Almond Orchard Fumigation Decisions
Whether planting on new ground or replanting, sizing up the enemy — nematodes — is a must. Read More
The team at Sawmill Creek Vineyards which includes Tina Hazlitt, Jason Hazlitt, Ryan Yaskulski, Courtney Griffin, and Eric Hazlitt take great pride in their vineyard, knowing their customers have come to depend the vineyard’s attention to detail. (Photo credit: Christina Herrick)
Grapes
September 29, 2016
Vinifera Finds A Home In The Finger Lakes
In a region known for spectacular sights, varieties are making their mark, just ask the team at Sawmill Creek Vineyards. Read More
Accuweather Winter 2016-2017 forecast map
Citrus
September 29, 2016
Winter Is Coming, And It Could Get Wicked
Forecast sees heightened freeze threat for Florida citrus; frequent snow to blast Northeast. Read More
Spring Valley Farms in Umatilla, FL, from a drone
Citrus
September 29, 2016
Celebrate National Farmer’s Day Every Day
Florida agriculture has a compelling story to tell every day, but what better time to tell it than National Farmer’s Day? Read More
Photo credit: Christina Herrick
Stone Fruit
September 28, 2016
New Research Gets To The Bottom Of Cherry Cracking
German researchers hope to identify root causes of rain-induced problem. Read More
Part of a sustainable cropping system includes desiging fields to wrap around hilly terrain to limit runoff and soil erosion.  Photo credit: Rosemary Gordon
Farm Management
September 28, 2016
Grants Available For Sustainable Ag In The West
More than $1 million is marked for grants to study, demonstrate, and improve sustainable ag practices. Read More
Organic farmer on tractor
Equipment
September 28, 2016
Small Tractor Sales On The Rebound
Retail sales of tractors under 40 horsepower gained more than 21% last month, while sales of larger tractors continued their double-digit declines. Read More
The Latest
Florida Ag Expo
September 30, 2016
The Florida Ag Expo Serves Growers [Opin…
This annual industry gathering is such an important event, Jack Payne, Senior VP of UF/IFAS, has invited his entire leadership team — including the directors of all 12 UF/IFAS research centers and 14 academic department chairs — to participate. Read More
Farm Marketing
September 29, 2016
Kids Up For Adoption Get A Boost From He…
The Heartland Maze has gone the extra mile and created a maze design that promotes a cause. Together with a Read More
Farm Marketing
September 29, 2016
Coalition To Presidential Candidates: Re…
The coalition Plate Of The Union would like local farms to play a more central roll in U.S. food policy. Read More
Nuts
September 29, 2016
Use Soil Sampling To Inform Your Almond …
Whether planting on new ground or replanting, sizing up the enemy — nematodes — is a must. Read More
Grapes
September 29, 2016
Vinifera Finds A Home In The Finger Lake…
In a region known for spectacular sights, varieties are making their mark, just ask the team at Sawmill Creek Vineyards. Read More
Citrus
September 29, 2016
Winter Is Coming, And It Could Get Wicke…
Forecast sees heightened freeze threat for Florida citrus; frequent snow to blast Northeast. Read More
Citrus
September 29, 2016
Celebrate National Farmer’s Day Ev…
Florida agriculture has a compelling story to tell every day, but what better time to tell it than National Farmer’s Day? Read More
Stone Fruit
September 28, 2016
New Research Gets To The Bottom Of Cherr…
German researchers hope to identify root causes of rain-induced problem. Read More
Farm Management
September 28, 2016
Grants Available For Sustainable Ag In T…
More than $1 million is marked for grants to study, demonstrate, and improve sustainable ag practices. Read More
Equipment
September 28, 2016
Small Tractor Sales On The Rebound
Retail sales of tractors under 40 horsepower gained more than 21% last month, while sales of larger tractors continued their double-digit declines. Read More
Farm Management
September 28, 2016
The Time For Climate Change Denial Is Ov…
Extreme cold, droughts, flooding, record-setting temperatures have all been a part of this year’s growing season. Read More
Fruits
September 27, 2016
Focusing On Phenomics In Specialty Crops
It’s not just the nature of your crops — the genomics — it’s also how they are nurtured. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 27, 2016
Tasteful Selections Is The Recipient Of …
The award was presented to Bob Bender of Tasteful Selections Sept. 13 at United Fresh's Washington Conference. Read More
Fruits
September 27, 2016
Rodale Institute Launches An Organic Far…
A new national organization for organic growers is designed to provide advocacy, the latest research and education, and information-sharing among farmers. Read More
Farm Management
September 27, 2016
Politicians May Be Taking Ag For Granted…
Growers have become masters at ensuring a steady food supply, but warning, politicians: Ignore them at your peril. Read More
Citrus
September 26, 2016
Presidential Candidates Comment On Agric…
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump weigh in on a number of topics of concern to growers. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 26, 2016
New Apple Variety Is One Stemilt Hopes C…
University of Minnesota apple variety will be grown and packed exclusively by Stemilt. Read More
Grapes
September 26, 2016
Where Site And Growing System Meet In Th…
Vineyard manager uses growing systems to control vigor of winegrape varieties. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]