SALINAS, Calif. – Mark Adamek, director of romaine, artisan and mixed leaf production for Tanimura & Antle, said he has high hopes for the rest of the season despite challenges earlier in the year.
Hurdles for the industry have included the E. coli outbreak linked to Arizona romaine, which sickened more than 200 people, mainly in March and April. The Food and Drug Administration could not identify the specific source of the contaminated product, and demand for all romaine fell dramatically.
“It’s made the marketplace a challenge for us as producers,” Adamek said during a field tour. “I kind of feel like we’re getting beyond that now and it’s getting better. Weather’s affected us somewhat in that it’s been cooler and damper than normal, so I’ve had a lot of trouble with some diseases we don’t usually have to worry about this time of year …
“I do feel like the marketplace is settling down now and we kind of know what to expect, so I have high hopes for the rest of the season,” Adamek said. “But it’s been a challenging summer in Salinas this year, that’s for sure.”
Adamek also spoke about the creation and development of the company’s four-head clamshell pack of its Artisan Lettuce. Check out that interview and story on ProduceRetailer.com.