Greg Corrigan Joins United Vegetable Growers Cooperative as CEO
SALINAS, CA - If it feels like it was just last month that Greg Corrigan bid farewell to his long tenure with Raley’s, you wouldn’t be far off. But if there is anything I have learned, it is that produce gets into the blood and leaves an irreversible passion to jump in the game when opportunity calls.
For Greg, that call came soon after making the move to the Salad Bowl itself of Salinas, California, with his fellow produce professional and future wife Lisa Davis. On the other end of the phone was the United Vegetable Growers Cooperative, and his next chapter began.
“I didn’t think I’d be jumping back in quite this fast, but I’m excited to work with a bunch of the key growers and well-known professionals in this area,” Greg shares with me. “They have a very impressive Board making up the cooperative, and I thought about how I would love to be on this side of the business. So I’m excited to work with growers on the complete opposite side of the spectrum from retail.”
United Vegetable Growers had been looking for a new CEO since Eric Schwartz’s departure in February of this year, and when it heard that Greg was in town, it sounds as if fate laid the pieces in place.
“The growers are the salt of our Earth, and now I have the opportunity to represent them in a way I never have before. At the same time, I think they are looking forward to someone with my perspective from the retail side,” Greg explains.
With the mission of growing the healthiest food in the world while being good stewards of the land, United Vegetable Growers believes it all begins with the dirt and the people who work and harvest it. Committed to taking care of both the farmers and the communities in which it farms, grower members represent over 50 percent of all conventional and over 70 percent of all organic leafy greens crop acres on the West Coast, according to the company website. Although most members grow a wide variety of vegetables and berries, the team shared that its primary product focus is conventional and organic leafy greens.
“Our main goal is ensuring growers stay sustainable, and I think my role will be to tell their story, collaborate, and make sure that returns go back to the growers as much as possible. I know that often in retail they try to tell the story, but a lot of time it isn’t told well enough to be understood. Growers work really hard as so many regulatory issues, pressures, and obstacles go against them to provide a necessary, healthy product. The co-op works in a lot of ways to come up with solutions for them, and I’m looking forward to joining that fight and helping the board and the growers we serve in any way that I can,” Greg assures.
Greg joins a powerhouse team with the likes of Jerry Rava II, Tony Alameda, Rodney Braga, Steve Taylor, and more to dig in to a new way of making a difference in our industry, and I can't imagine I'm the only one excited to see the results.
Congratulations Greg on this new surprise chapter of your produce career!