Eco Farms Celebrates 50-Year Milestone; Steve Taft, Mark Smith, and David Smith Discuss
TEMECULA, CA - Fifty years of delicious, high-quality avocados—now that is an accomplishment worth celebrating. The Oppy-Eco Farms network boasts over 200 years of combined experience, creating valuable new opportunities for expansion in the category. Eclipsing an exciting milestone, Eco Farms has reached its 50th year offering the high-demand fruit.
“As owners, we worked the land like everybody else, and did just about everything you can imagine in the packhouse by hand,” said President of Eco Farms Steve Taft, reflecting on the company’s long-standing history. “No forklifts, no pallets, with varieties you don’t typically see anymore. Days consisted of packing fruit at sunrise, sleeping for a few hours, then peddling it to market in the evening, and doing that all over again.”
In 1972, Steve Taft and Norm Traner launched Eco Farms in Rainbow, California, with the help of a few like-minded growers, becoming one of the first companies to grow and market organic avocados in the United States. In the 1980s, the supplier was also among the first to bring Chilean avocados to the U.S., paving the way for the entry of the Mexican crop that propelled through the mid-90s and beyond, a press release explained. During this time, the company also extended into other categories, including citrus and exotic items like kumquats, cherimoya, and dragon fruit.
Throughout its evolution, Eco Farms has maintained a strong alliance with California partners while proving itself as a pioneer in the avocado category.
“We have the deepest respect for Steve and his team, and are honored to be a small part of Eco Farm’s 50-year history,” commented Oppy’s Mark Smith, who directs sales and strategy for the Oppy-Eco Farms initiative. “We look forward to continue building upon our business together, driving U.S. sales forward while consistently meeting the needs of our customers.”
Earlier this year, the Oppy-Eco Farms network tapped the might of Avoworks, to provide consistent, reliable supply to its partners.
“We’ve seen enormous growth with Eco Farms, in addition to teaming up with Avoworks. We’ll be working hand in glove to build the avocado category into the future while seeking out new opportunities, including an emerging crop from Columbia,” President and Chief Operating Officer of Oppy David Smith said.
To read more about the company’s success in the avocado industry and more, click here.
Congratulations to Eco Farms on half a century of growth and innovation!