D’Arrigo CA: Cultivating for Long-term Organic Success
D‘Arrigo CA is looking to replicate the success of its conventional offerings within the booming organic segment by expanding its Andy Boy organic offerings. In addition, the Spreckels based company is capitalizing on its growing expertise to serve as a premier custom grower for others. This diverse organic business plan carried out by the 94 year old company creates a path to solidify a long term position in the organic marketplace.
“Our initial goal is to provide quality and consistent organic supplies of Andy Boy romaine hearts and broccoli rabe year-round,” said Claudia Pizarro-Villalobos, Director of Marketing and Culinary for the company. “Recognizing the increased demand for organic produce, we will continue to strategize on how to best utilize our land capital, in an effort to be an organic solution for our partners. We believe that our vertically integrated company structure, coupled with our growing land base, positions the company to have a presence in both the conventional and organic segment of the industry in the years to come.”
D’Arrigo has expanded into custom growing on the conventional and organic side. They are growing items such as cilantro, spinach, chard, carrots, cabbage, coriander, kale and arugula. Long-term, the company intends to commit sufficient land and resources to cultivating additional custom grown crops in a sustainable manner – all the while meeting the needs of their customers. The company has also introduced a new addition to its organic romaine heart program, 7x6 count, complementing its traditional retail 12x3 count and foodservice 40 count loose pack. These three (3) organic offerings round out a full lineup for their retail, foodservice and club-store customers.
“We monitor market trends and look at which sectors are consuming and buying our products, namely Millennials and Gen Xers,” said Pizarro-Villalobos. “We understand that they are looking for healthy and fresh options and we want to make sure that we can meet their needs. At the same time, we have to sustain our growth with our land equity and support our premier Andy Boy brand that is recognized both conventionally and in the organic world.”
To illustrate the point, Matt Amaral, Director of Business Development for D’Arrigo CA, said the company is consistently evaluating the organic commodities grown in the Andy Boy label. Taking into consideration its land equity and current growth within the romaine heart and broccoli rabe categories, the company decided to utilize its land to support commodities in high demand rather than to cultivate less established items.
Amaral said, “D’Arrigo CA plans to first gain a better understanding of the organic segment, including growth and marketing trends before introducing new items. With finite acreage, particularly acres that are transitioning in Salinas and elsewhere, we are choosing to stick with items with known demand.”
By Mindy Hermann, RN
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