San Miguel evolution shifts greens supply to other growers

( File photo )

Increased regulations and other issues have prompted greens grower and marketer San Miguel Produce Inc. to significantly reduce Ventura County, Calif., acreage and partner with other growers across North America to ensure a year-round supply.

It’s one of several changes the company is making to increase efficiency and promote its long-term sustainability, according to a news release.

San Miguel Produce, Oxnard, has farmed in Ventura County for since it was established 43 years ago. As part of what it calls a business evolution, it will be partnering with other growers to supply for its processing operation. That includes product from Mexico and western U.S. states, according to a San Miguel spokeswoman.

The company is emphasizing local, family farms, including smaller growers and cooperatives across North America. In Ventura County, San Miguel Produce is working with growers on food safety and farming programs, according to the release.

Roy Nishimori, president and CEO, said farming and regulations in Ventura County have change significantly in recent years.

“For more than four decades, we successfully focused on the Ventura County growing region,: Nishimori said in the release. “However, with crop, weather and regulation changes in this farming region, this business model is no longer sustainable for consistent, year-round quality supply.

“This next step in our strategic plan will allow us to continue to grow and innovate in new areas of the industry,” he said in the release.

This year, all San Miguel Produce operations will move to the company’s 85,000-square-foot facility, which opened in 2019. Farming and warehousing functions continued in the former headquarters office and processing facility in 2019.

The company remains a family operation at its core, according to the release.

“San Miguel is taking the next strategic steps in its evolution to strengthen its ability to better serve customers, improve operational efficiency and continue to innovate in the dark leafy greens category," John Killeen, vice president of sales and general manager of San Miguel Produce, said in the release.

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