Iverson said the company hopes to create value for its customers by focusing on foodservice.
“In general, we felt like for some foodservice just wasn’t the focus, and we felt like that was an opportunity,” Iverson said. “Everyone’s excited to get into retail because of all the flashy logos and advertising, but at this point, we aren’t tempted by that. All of that stuff, it adds cost.”
GreenGate Fresh is leasing space in Salinas, where it has been processing lettuces and leafy greens since April. Its processing facility in Yuma is under construction, scheduled to be done before the start of the winter growing season in Arizona.
The company planned to start processing in Yuma during the past winter growing season, but never found the proper facility, so it shipped the product in whole head form.
Pendleton designed the company’s processing line, which will move to its new facility in Yuma at the end of the Salinas deal.
Barkley’s businesses, which include the growing entity Barkley Co. of Arizona, will negotiate with GreenGate as any other produce supplier, Iverson said. GreenGate has about 10 employees on the administration side and 30-40 in the packing plant, he said.
The company is using GreenGate Fresh as a brand name for its salads, and FatHead for its commodities.
The company is a member of Western Growers, the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California and both the California and Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreements.
Paul Simonds, communications manager for Western Growers, toured the Salinas plant recently, he said.
“They were moving cole slaw the day I was there, and it’s a pretty phenomenal plant,” Simonds said.
April Ward, communications director for California LGMA, said the company signed up to become a member during its open enrollment before April 1. It has already been certified.
Teressa Lopez, administrator for the Arizona LGMA, said the company went through two audits in Arizona this year and also received certification from her agency.