Mar 17, 2021
Organic leader Taylor Farms gives $1M to food safety effort
A top organic vegetable grower, Taylor Farms, recently invested heavily in food safety.
Center for Produce Safety (CPS) reported Taylor as one of only two entities that gave $1 million each during a fundraising effort. Taylor Farms and Western Growers are the first Diamond-level supporters to a capital fundraising campaign that Center for Produce Safety unveiled in late January; the campaign began quietly in late 2020. CPS has now raised more than $5 million toward its $15 million goal to finance produce-specific food safety research, and to transfer research learnings to industry, government and other stakeholders, over the next five years.
While Taylor grows conventional produce as well as organic, it is heavily invested in organic vegetable growing through companies such as Earthbound Farm and Mission Ranches, which it acquired in 2019. Other notable organic produce companies, such as Tanimura & Antle, Grimmway/Cal-Organic, JV Smith Companies and Driscoll’s were also named as sizeable donors.
Bruce Taylor, chairman and CEO of the fresh-cut processing giant, said in a news release that much is at stake for industry members and their brands.
“Produce safety is important to us because one in three Americans enjoy Taylor Farms’ healthy, fresh foods every week,” he said. “It is critical that we continue to earn our consumers’ trust by producing very safe food.”
Taylor pointed to CPS’s success to date to make the case for supporting the center’s continued work. Taylor Farms co-founded CPS with Produce Marketing Association in 2007 with a $2 million contribution, and gave another $1.25 million to CPS’s 2015 campaign.
“We are delighted to see the amazing progress in research and practical application of food safety knowledge that is being driven by the Center for Produce Safety,” Taylor said. “We’ve seen a consistent track record of success with their research programs, and their ability to communicate to the industry. That’s just as important — research without communication doesn’t help anybody.”
Executives from Taylor Farms and Western Growers called on their counterparts across the fresh produce supply chain to step up and join them in supporting Center for Produce Safety’s future.
“The future is in our collective hands,” Taylor said. “It is incumbent on us as an industry to do everything we can to win consumers’ trust.”
Contributions to date
As of March 1, the following companies have contributed to CPS’s new fundraising campaign. A current list of contributors can be viewed at www.centerforproducesafety.org/2020-campaign.php.
Diamond Level Supporters, $1 million-plus
- Taylor Farms
- Western Growers
Platinum Level Supporters, $500,000-$999,999
- Dole Fresh Vegetables/Dole Food Company
Gold Level Supporters, $250,000-$499,999
- California Fresh Fruit Association
- Tanimura & Antle
Silver Level Supporters, $100,000-$249,999
- Lipman Family Farms
- JV Smith Companies
- Promotora Agricola El Toro
- Western Precooling
- Grimmway Farms/Cal-Organic
- McEntire Produce
- The Giumarra Companies
- GreenGate Fresh
- Mission Produce
- Pacific International Marketing
Bronze-Plus Level Supporters, $50,000-$99,999
- The Oppenheimer Group
- Amigo Farms
- California Avocado Commission
- DiMare Fresh
- L&M Companies
- New York Apple Association
Bronze Level Supporters, up to $49,999
- Bonduelle Fresh Americas
- Coastline Family Farms
- Little Bear Produce
- Duda Farm Fresh Foods
- Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association
- Diversified Restaurant Systems
- Florida Tomato Committee
- Pasquinelli Produce
- Tyger Sales and Marketing
- Wish Farms
- National Watermelon Association
- Blue Book Services
- Primus Labs
- Pacific Ag Pak
Many industry organizations have supported CPS since it was founded in 2007. A complete list of contributors to CPS’s 2015 campaign can be viewed at www.centerforproducesafety.org/2015-campaign.php.