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OPN Connect Newsletter 215 · April 29, 2021

Grimmway Farms Has 25+ Years of Organic Excellence


Grimmway Farms traces its roots back to the early ’60s when Rod and Bob Grimm opened a produce stand. By 1969, that stand had evolved into a fully operational carrot farm, and the Grimm brothers expanded the business by acquiring farmland throughout Southern and Central California.

Rod and Bob Grimm

Starr Ranch May 2021

“We found that by using a broad rotation program, we could strengthen the health of our soil and consistently deliver high-yielding, high-quality crops,” said Eric Proffitt, executive vice president of sales and marketing for the Bakersfield, CA-based company.

In 2001, Grimmway acquired Cal-Organic Farms, expanding its product portfolio and introducing more than 65 year-round and seasonal organic vegetables to its rotation. 

 

 

Country Sweet Produce May 2021

Cal-Organic rainbow carrots

“Since then, we’ve grown to farm approximately 50,000 certified acres and built a scalable production model that allows us to farm sustainably while providing our customers with affordable choices in the market,” Proffitt said.

In 2001, Grimmway acquired Cal-Organic Farms, expanding its product portfolio and introducing more than 65 year-round and seasonal organic vegetables to its rotation.

Global Organics Group May 2021

Today, Grimmway has organic production in six states to capture ideal growing conditions throughout each season of the year.

“We farm all of our organic crops in-house and utilize a consistent land base, which allows us to build our soil through strategic crop rotations, improving the fertility of our ground and the quality of our crops over time,” Proffitt said.

Eric Proffitt, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Grimmway Farms

Chelan Fresh May 2021

The company offers more than 65 organic varieties, including seasonal specialties such as sweet corn, green beans, and red bunch carrots.

“We market year-round organic commodities such as carrots, bunching greens, herbs, root vegetables, brassicas, and leafy greens,” Proffitt said. “We also offer flexible shipping options and work with customers of all sizes, and our organic division is fully integrated with our carrot business, which enables seamless ordering and single-stop loading.”

Today, Grimmway has organic production in six states to capture ideal growing conditions throughout each season of the year.

NatureSafe May 2021

Cal-Organic chard

Always looking to grow and improve operations, Grimmway works closely with its customers to forecast consumer demand and plant crops with precision. “This helps us meet the growing demand for organic produce and maintain an adequate supply of consistently high-volume organics year-round and through seasonal peaks,” Proffitt said. “It also enables us to offer specialty items and bring these to market as customers request.”

As organic vegetable sales growth continues to outpace that of conventionally grown vegetables, Grimmway works with its customers to develop the organic section in their produce departments to suit the needs of their shoppers.

 

Cal-Organic mixed lettuce field

“Since we offer a complete line of vegetables under the Cal-Organic label, our retail partners can base their organic sets with high-volume staples and add new items season by season,” Proffitt said.

Grimmway and Cal-Organic Farms demonstrate that nutritious, certified organic produce can be grown at a large scale while still utilizing best practices in sustainable agriculture. However, the high cost of producing organics presents challenges for growers.

Vitalis May 2021

As organic vegetable sales growth continues to outpace that of conventionally grown vegetables, Grimmway works with its customers to develop the organic section in their produce departments to suit the needs of their shoppers.

“Besides the additional costs associated with growing high-quality organic produce, fluctuating weather patterns and the reliance on natural controls to fight diseases and pests make organic growing challenging at times,” Proffitt said. “Adverse weather can present suboptimal conditions for growing organic produce, and the lack of organic fungicides and fast-acting fertilizers can create gaps in the supply chain. Seasonal and regional insect pressures are also hard to manage as consumers expect a flawless organic product.”

But as organic produce continues to see double-digit growth annually, which follows a trend of significant annual growth over the last 20 years, the company sees even more opportunities for growth ahead.

Cal-Organic chard cases

“The knowledge we’ve gained by producing a wide range of organic items for more than 25 years has allowed us to expand our organic operation from just 100 certified acres to approximately 50,000 and consistently deliver high-yielding, premium-quality vegetables to our customers,” Proffitt said. “Quality produce and dependable service have garnered Grimmway a reputation of trust and reliability in the industry.”

There’s plenty of optimism and excitement about 2021. Grimmway’s organic potato program, including red, gold, russet, and rainbow fingerling potatoes will begin at the end of April and extend through December. There will also be some new Cal-Organic Farms products launching early this summer.

TerraFresh

Cal-Organic carrot field

And now that Teays River Investments acquired Grimmway in December 2020, things are expected to just keep getting better and better.

“With their support, we’re focused on expanding our infrastructure, advancing new research and technology, and investing in the people who work with us and for us,” Proffitt said. “In 2021, we plan to expand the availability of our full line of [over] 65 organic vegetables and release new products that provide consumers with time-saving, value-added solutions. We also look forward to introducing fresh, healthy, and delicious products that consumers can enjoy on the go as they become more active outside of their homes.”

Pacon May 2021

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