Anthony Vineyards' John Harley Talks Organic Grape and Date Programs
BAKERSFIELD, CA - With ‘organic’ topping the list of buzzwords that excite our industry, it comes as no surprise that companies are working hard to expand their organic programs. Among such trailblazers is Anthony Vineyards, grower and shipper of California table grapes. The company is continuing to generate enthusiasm around its portfolio as we approach this year’s Organic Produce Summit (OPS), where Anthony Vineyards is due to showcase its organic grape and date programs.
I chatted with John Harley, Anthony Vineyards’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing, to learn a bit more about what the company has in the works and what buyers and attendees alike should expect to see from the team this year.
“We’ll be showcasing not only our organic grape program, but our organic dates as well, under our Sun Date label. That’s something that’s expanding on a yearly basis with us,” John shares with me, before dialing into the specifics. “We’ve been expanding our conventional date program all along, but once we received a high amount of requests for an organic line from our date customers, we took our date program in the same direction as our grape operations. This season Anthony Vineyards will be showcasing a host of varieties from organic green seedless grapes to organic red and black seedless grapes as well.”
Anthony Vineyards has seen firsthand the growth that organic programs can bring, and is looking forward to showing those attending OPS what Coachella Valley grape growers and beyond are all about.
“It’s been a long process for us,” John says as we discuss how the company’s organic program has evolved over the years. “Over the last seven to eight years, we’ve seen double-digit growth in the organic category and we’ve converted a lot of our acreage to organic production. Any new varieties we come up with that fit the organic profile, we put into that program. The biggest thing is to have the continuity on a weekly basis of organic production and that’s what we look for.”
This season, Anthony Vineyards will be showcasing a variety of fruit from organic green seedless grapes to organic red and black seedless grapes.
When I ask John what he’s most excited about for the upcoming show, he remarks that it’s the chance to connect with other growers and buyers that keeps him coming back.
“We look forward to being able to present to the public who we are as a company, and bring more value to our customers and future customers,” he concludes.
Curious to see what else the company is up to? Make sure to stop by OPS booth #304 to find out for yourself.