Late start, good quality California Westside Melons, B1 SINCE 1893, THE BUSINESS NEWS SOURCE OF THE PRODUCE INDUSTRY CXXIV, No. 24 JUNE 12, 2017 Family of Brands ProduceRetailer.com ProduceMarketGuide.com thepacker.com/fresh-trends MidwestProducexpo.com West CoastProducexpo.com By Jim Offner Taylor Farms walkout may not be last remember it’s important to retain these working people. If rents keep going up and up and out, how many families can you get into a house? I hope employers understand that. We all need each other.” Diaz said the walkout lasted one day, although earlier media reports said it had occurred June 5-6. The union did not sanction the strike, but Local 890 leaders moved in and han-dled negotiations, Diaz said. “The union couldn’t say much. We were shocked, too,” Diaz said. “But the company said, ‘Let’s fix this,’ and we went back to work.” Employees returned to work when the company agreed to a $1.50 per-hour pay in-crease, with an additional $1 an hour com-ing Jan. 1, Diaz said. Taylor Farms would not comment specif-ically on the matter, but on June 6 released a statement from president Mark Borman. “At Taylor Farms, our employees are our greatest assets. For the past 20 years, we have an enjoyed a wonderful partnership with our workforce. As the labor market contin-WHAT’S INSIDE Remembering Howard Marguleas Special to The Packer Employees were back at work June 7 after a one-day unsanctioned strike over wages at Salinas, Calif.-based Taylor Farms, but the issue of wages in the Salinas Valley apparently isn’t settled. An official with Teamsters Local 890, who participated in negotiations during the impasse, indicated that other grower-ship-pers in the Salinas Valley could expect to hear from the union in the near future. “We’ll be talking to other companies,” said Crescencio Diaz, union representative who participated in talks for about 2,000 workers involved in the walkout. Diaz said his local represents an estimat-ed 5,000 “ag-related jobs.” “Living in Salinas is getting more expen-sive, and people are in survival mode,” he said June 7. “It’s very difficult to stay with wages that represent the cost of living we had 10 years ago. We’re telling companies they need to ues to evolve, we remain committed to offering our employees some of the most competitive wages and benefits in the industry,” according to the statement. “While our Salinas employees are under a union-negotiated contract BORMAN for another year, we have implemented additional wage increases.” On June 7, Borman issued a follow-up statement: “Taylor Farms has reached a path forward with our Salinas facility employees and have resumed full operations. We remain commit-ted to offering our employees the most com-petitive wages and benefits in the industry.” Western Growers and other industry associations, including the Salinas-based Grower-Shipper Association of Central Cal-ifornia, declined to comment on the walk-out or its wider implications. By Jim Offner Village Farms enters joint venture to grow marijuana facility in Delta, British Columbia, on a 50-acre parcel of land, which will be converted to marijuana production for medical use and — where law allows — the rec-reational market, the companies said in a news release. Emerald Health Therapeu-tics is a Health Canada-licensed producer of medical cannabis. Each company will have a 50% ownership stake in the venture. The partners said they are planning for 1.1 million square feet of initial potential green-house marijuana production, esti-mated to yield more than 75,000 kilograms of product per year upon completion of full licensing and greenhouse conversion. The deal also allows for an option to add two more green-house facilities in the future. Joint A2 u File photos Special to The Packer Sun World founder Howard Marguleas (right), pictured here with Mike Lakis, then president of Chiquita Brands, in 1983 at a picnic on the opening day of the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Anaheim, Calif., has died. OBITUARY, A3 Village Farms International Inc. has a budding new rela-tionship with a medical mari-juana company, with plans to grow 25 acres of greenhouse cannabis for a start. Village Farms and Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. an-nounced June 6 that they’re forming an agreement for large-scale, “high-quality, low-cost” cannabis production in one of Village Farms’ British Columbia greenhouses. Under the terms of the agree-ment, Village Farms will initially contribute a 25-acre greenhouse Drought causes some bumps for South Africa CROPS & MARKETS, A11 Mastronardi buys Backyard Farms, A3 Asparagus rebounds MICHIGAN PRODUCE, B3 Ups and downs ONTARIO FIELD PRODUCE, A19 California red, White & Blue Our locally grown avocados are the All-American avocado for the 4th of July and American summer holidays. Your customers look for our golden seal of approval— the California label. It’s the symbol that guarantees the homegrown taste, freshness and quality. Call 1-800-344-4333 or visit CaliforniaAvocado.com/Retail for merchandising support and marketing programs to help grow your California Avocado business. Produce of U.S.A. © 2016 California Avocado Commission. All rights reserved.