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OPN Connect Newsletter 326 · June 29, 2023

Misionero’s 50-Year Journey: Half a Century of Impact


Misionero has a rich and deep-rooted history that originates from a love for leafy greens and a commitment to organic practices. The company is also dedicated to innovation.

“We are committed to implementing new technologies and adopting comprehensive, long-term ethical practices in growing, processing, and harvesting,” said Nicole Minnich-Zapata, marketing director of the Gonzales, California-based company. “At Misionero, we recognize our crucial role in shaping the American diet and driving consumers towards a better food experience every day.”

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Nicole Minnich-Zapata, Marketing Director, Misionero

The company’s commitment lies in providing the finest organic products available in the market with a product range that encompasses a variety of high-quality salad and lettuce offerings.

“We continually strive to be at the forefront of innovation within the industry,” Minnich-Zapata said. “Alongside our organic produce, we embrace cutting-edge techniques such as hydroponics, collaborating with our partners in Mexico to deliver exceptional CEA offerings.”

“We are committed to implementing new technologies and adopting comprehensive, long-term ethical practices in growing, processing, and harvesting.” - Nicole Minnich-Zapata

Vitalis June 2024

Additionally, Misionero takes pride in offering premium kits that are carefully curated to ensure an exceptional experience for all customers. These kits combine the finest ingredients with thoughtful pairings and innovative recipes, enabling individuals to enjoy convenient and wholesome meals.

“Through our dedication to innovation and customer satisfaction, we remain committed to our role as a leader in the organic industry, continuously striving to enhance the food experiences of our consumers,” Minnich-Zapata said.

Organic Renaissance Blend

Misionero recently introduced its Organic Renaissance Blend—a butter-forward restaurant-style salad—and Organic Red Butter Blend.

“These expanded our portfolio of ready-to-eat organic salads designed to cater to our consumers’ busy lifestyles while ensuring they can enjoy healthy, organic meals with minimal effort,” Minnich-Zapata said. “These offerings resonate with health-conscious individuals who value convenience without compromising on quality.”

Misionero was founded in 1973 by Floyd Griffin, a man who possessed an unwavering passion for life and the people around him. Those fortunate enough to work alongside him found themselves inspired by his leadership and vision.

Cal-Organic June 2024

“He embodied the essence of a modern pioneer and exemplified the qualities of an exceptional founder,” Minnich-Zapata said. “Floyd firmly believed that there was a place in the Salinas Valley for a production company that could achieve success while treating its employees with respect. He constantly grappled with the choice between growth and maintaining quality, always striking a delicate balance.”

“These expanded our portfolio of ready-to-eat organic salads designed to cater to our consumers’ busy lifestyles while ensuring they can enjoy healthy, organic meals with minimal effort.” - Nicole Minnich-Zapata

Through his wise decisions, he was proven right, and when Harbinger Group acquired the company in 2016, it was determined to carry on his legacy.

Now, in its 50th year of operation, the organic industry faces various challenges, and Misionero is not immune to these circumstances.

“One main challenge is the continuous need to educate consumers about the advantages of organic products and challenge misconceptions surrounding affordability and accessibility,” Minnich-Zapata said. “In a landscape where inflation and rising costs have impacted the entire market, it becomes crucial to demonstrate organic products’ long-term value and benefits.”

Maintaining a consistent supply of organic produce also presents its own set of challenges as factors like unpredictable weather conditions, crop diseases, and market fluctuations can disrupt the availability and pricing of organic produce.

“In a landscape where inflation and rising costs have impacted the entire market, it becomes crucial to demonstrate organic products’ long-term value and benefits.” - Nicole Minnich-Zapata

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“We actively work to mitigate these challenges by collaborating closely with our farmers, implementing resilient farming practices and utilizing advanced technologies to enhance productivity and reduce risk,” Minnich-Zapata said. “Our commitment to transparency, social accountability, and customer satisfaction enables us to navigate these challenges and deliver exceptional organic offerings in the face of an ever-changing market landscape.”

Misionero has been EFI (Equitable Food Initiative) certified for the past five years, demonstrating its dedication to fair labor practices, worker well-being, and responsible sourcing.

“We have actively collaborated with EFI on various initiatives to pursue continuous improvement,” Minnich-Zapata said. “Since 2020, we have participated in two pilot programs: ‘Produce and Reduce,' in partnership with Measure to Improve, and a ‘Process Improvement and Upskilling’ program. These collaborations have allowed us to delve deeper into sustainable practices and explore innovative approaches to reduce waste, optimize processes, and enhance the skills and well-being of our workforce.”

Moving forward, the company is excited to continue its engagement with EFI and explore additional initiatives that go beyond the standard expectations.

“Since 2020, we have participated in two pilot programs: ‘Produce and Reduce,' in partnership with Measure to Improve, and a ‘Process Improvement and Upskilling’ program. These collaborations have allowed us to delve deeper into sustainable practices and explore innovative approaches to reduce waste, optimize processes, and enhance the skills and well-being of our workforce.” - Nicole Minnich-Zapata

“We believe in pushing boundaries and finding new ways to improve our operations and industry practices,” Minnich-Zapata said. “We aim to align these initiatives with our long-term commitment to sustainability, social responsibility, and ethical business practices.”

Misionero’s strategy for this year and beyond is to continue strengthening its position in the organic market by expanding its product offerings, improving distribution channels, and enhancing consumer engagement.

“We are focused on research and development to innovate and diversify our product range, leveraging emerging trends and consumer preferences,” Minnich-Zapata said.

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