COMMERCE, Calif. — About a couple dozen members of Santa Cruz, Calif.-based California Certified Organic Farmers got a first-hand look at the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market April 11 and then visited Heath & Lejeune, a wholesale broker in nearby Commerce.
Andy Difani, who handles purchasing and sales for Better Life Organics in Los Angeles, led the visitors on a tour of the market, and then David Weinstein, head buyer at Heath & Lejeune, took guests through the company’s repacking, shipping and sales operations. He talked about the firm’s traceback program and described how a wholesaler partner can help growers market their products.
Harland Heath, a company founder, talked about the firm’s history and how he spent 25 years in retail before he became a broker.
The tour was one of several educational programs CCOF conducts for growers and handlers, said Jessy Becket, CCOF’s foundation program coordinator.
On the tour, participants studied how to get into the wholesale market, how to buy from the wholesale market and “specifically, how does the L.A. wholesale market serve organic,” Becket said.
“We got to see two great houses — Heath & Lejeune and Better Life Organics — and speak to some experts about organic wholesaling in L.A,” she said.