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Ocean Mist Farms holding field and facility tours during OPS week

By
Keith Loria

Ocean Mist Farms is a grower-shipper that farms year-round in three ideal California growing regions — Castroville, Oxnard and Coachella, plus Baja, California. It features a wide variety of organic produce that is harvested and supplied to customers around the country, year-round.

In 2000, Ocean Mist Farms began cultivating organic artichokes. In 2015 the Ocean Mist Organic brand was introduced with a full line of fresh vegetables including leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, fennel, herbs and spinach.

The Ocean Mist team will be heading to the Organic Produce Summit and are looking forward to meeting both new and existing customers. The company will be at booth No. 108 and plan to showcase its current Ocean Mist Organic product line.

Among the other dozens of organic products it offers are beets, cilantro, leeks, parsley, Romaine hearts and sweet baby broccoli.

“In addition to participating in all show events, we take this opportunity to schedule field and facility tours during the OPS week, giving key accounts an opportunity to experience our operations firsthand,” said Rick Bravo, vice president of sales and marketing for the Castroville, CA-based company. “Having the Organic Produce Summit in our backyard is a unique opportunity to bring customers into our fields and facility during an industry event.”

Some of the retail partners that attend the show are very focused on the organic category and do not attend some of the other shows, so the company sees this is a great opportunity to meet others in the space.

“Ideally, we come away with some new customer leads and learn more about what our partners are looking for from the organic category to inform development of new items,” Bravo said. “As much as we use this opportunity to showcase our organic product line and capabilities, it is also an opportunity to learn from our retail partners about their new developments, their challenges and ideally uncover collaborative opportunities to work together on.”

Ocean Mist Farms has participated in the OPS since its inception and continue to be encouraged by its focus on the organic category and the trends and development impacting the category from both the shopper and retailer perspectives. At the show, Bravo will be joined by Katie Tossie, organic commodity manager, and Joe Angelo, director of sales.

“In crafting a strategy for the show, both Ocean Mist’s sales and marketing teams are working closely with one another to ensure that it takes advantage of both the show activities and the fact that key customers are in town,” Bravo said.

During the pandemic, the company experienced more demand for ready-to-eat products and have made some strides in growing its conventional value-added business.

“We also experienced more demand for packaged (bagged and wrapped) products for both conventional and organic,” Bravo said. “We are engaged with shoppers on a daily basis through omnichannel marketing practices, listening closely to what they want to know about Ocean Mist Farms and the fresh produce that we grow. This regular connection affords us significant intel on how and what to communicate, such as Employee Spotlights as part of our From the Heart Blog subscription and educational videos showcasing our expanding value-added business.”

Looking ahead, Ocean Mist Farms’ growth initiatives in the organic category continues to focus on core items — romaine hearts, celery, cauliflower, iceberg and broccoli.

“We continue to look at additional items that we can produce economically,” Bravo said. “With most households consuming more food at home during the pandemic we found similar movement/demand from week to week.”

Keith Loria

Keith Loria

About Keith Loria  |  email

A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is a D.C.-based award-winning journalist who has been writing for major publications for close to 20 years on topics as diverse as real estate, food and sports. He started his career with the Associated Press and has held high editorial positions at magazines aimed at healthcare, sports and technology. When not busy writing, he can be found enjoying time with his wife, Patricia, and two daughters, Jordan and Cassidy.

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