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
Crop ProtectionAt Paramount Farming, Mating Disruption Pays Off
February 10, 2015
To say Brad Higbee is an expert in mating disruption, the use of pheromones to confuse target pests and reduce Read More
Crop ProtectionGrower Experienced In Biocontrols Says: Be Patient
February 4, 2015
The use of biocontrols in all aspects of agriculture is becoming more widespread. But incorporating biocontrols in a vegetable farming Read More
FertilizerValent BioSciences Acquires Mycorrhizal Applications Inc.
March 4, 2015
Transaction fueled by technology platform that promises to bolster biorational business. Read More
EquipmentVegetable Growers Highlight Success With Precision Ag Technology
March 4, 2015
From prescriptive applications of water and fertilizers to seeders, precision technology has a place in any size operation. Read More
FruitsWeed Identification Guide Now Available For Growers
March 4, 2015
New free guide from Ohio State University offers high-definition pictures to help growers identify weeds. Read More
Crop ProtectionSurvey Shows Growers Seek New Strategies To Control Thrips And Other Major Pests
March 4, 2015
Growers surveyed at the 2015 Southeast Regional Fruit And Vegetable Conference list thrips as major pest concern, and are looking for new technologies to combat pests. Read More
Sweet CornAbbott & Cobb Sweet On New Sweet Corn Technology
March 3, 2015
SuperSeedWare gene type to aid varieties through marker-assisted selection. Read More
FruitsWest Coast Ports To Open With New Contract
March 3, 2015
Western fruit, vegetable industries lost millions when unable to export produce at ports. Read More
FruitsWorkshop Set In Florida To Help Grow Local Food Movement
March 2, 2015
Meeting part of nationwide effort to train people how to attain grants for USDA’s Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion programs. Read More
Citrus18 Must-Have Apps For GenNext Growers
March 1, 2015
We asked about your favorite mobile applications, and here's what you had to say. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoGrowers Get The Lowdown On Cooling Crops
March 1, 2015
Demonstration shows how hydrocooling can help get the most out of fruits and vegetables once harvested. Read More
FruitsDon’t Be Afraid To Charge More For Value Of Agritainment [Opinion]
February 28, 2015
A higher admission price helps to sets a level of expectation and helps offset the costs of running a successful farm marketing operation. Read More
The Latest
FertilizerValent BioSciences Acquires Mycorrhizal Applications In…
March 4, 2015
Transaction fueled by technology platform that promises to bolster biorational business. Read More
EquipmentVegetable Growers Highlight Success With Precision Ag T…
March 4, 2015
From prescriptive applications of water and fertilizers to seeders, precision technology has a place in any size operation. Read More
FruitsWeed Identification Guide Now Available For Growers
March 4, 2015
New free guide from Ohio State University offers high-definition pictures to help growers identify weeds. Read More
Crop ProtectionSurvey Shows Growers Seek New Strategies To Control Thr…
March 4, 2015
Growers surveyed at the 2015 Southeast Regional Fruit And Vegetable Conference list thrips as major pest concern, and are looking for new technologies to combat pests. Read More
Sweet CornAbbott & Cobb Sweet On New Sweet Corn Technology
March 3, 2015
SuperSeedWare gene type to aid varieties through marker-assisted selection. Read More
FruitsWest Coast Ports To Open With New Contract
March 3, 2015
Western fruit, vegetable industries lost millions when unable to export produce at ports. Read More
FruitsWorkshop Set In Florida To Help Grow Local Food Movemen…
March 2, 2015
Meeting part of nationwide effort to train people how to attain grants for USDA’s Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion programs. Read More
Citrus18 Must-Have Apps For GenNext Growers
March 1, 2015
We asked about your favorite mobile applications, and here's what you had to say. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoGrowers Get The Lowdown On Cooling Crops
March 1, 2015
Demonstration shows how hydrocooling can help get the most out of fruits and vegetables once harvested. Read More
FruitsDon’t Be Afraid To Charge More For Value Of Agrit…
February 28, 2015
A higher admission price helps to sets a level of expectation and helps offset the costs of running a successful farm marketing operation. Read More
Apples & PearsCompany Responsible For First GMO Apples Is Sold
February 27, 2015
Okanagan Specialty Fruits, the company behind the world's first non-browning apples, fetches $41 million. Read More
Stone FruitPeach Training Systems Aren’t One-Size-Fits-All
February 27, 2015
Although pedestrian, ladderless orchards are increasing in California, growers in Pennsylvania are opting for tall V-training systems. Read More
FruitsNo Federal Water For California’s Central Valley Grower…
February 27, 2015
Skimpy snowpack leads Bureau of Reclamation to make unprecedented announcement that there will be a zero initial allocation for the second year in a row. Read More
Apples & PearsThe Recession That Keeps On Taking
February 27, 2015
We’re still seeing the aftermath of the Great Recession on consumers’ purchasing habits seven years later. Read More
Grower Achievement AwardSubmit Your Nomination For The 2015 Grower Achievement …
February 27, 2015
American Vegetable Grower magazine's annual award is designed to recognize an innovative operation that represents the spirit of excellence. Read More
FruitsMaximize Produce Profits By Focusing On Soil Health
February 27, 2015
Cover crops are just one of the ways you can help boost your trees’ and vines’ performance and your bottom line. Read More
FNV logo
CitrusPMA Announces Funding For Major Produce Marketing Progr…
February 26, 2015
The produce industry is getting into brand marketing in a big way. The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) has announced the launch of a new promotional campaign - FNV - designed to take a page from the marketing strategies of big-money consumer brands like Nike and Apple. Read More
GrapesWashington Winegrape Industry Announces Honors
February 26, 2015
Awards included Grower of the Year, Industry Service, Lifetime Achievement, Restaurant of the Year and Posters. Read More