Tanimura & Antle Names John McKeon as Senior Manager of Organic Compliance & Sustainability
- by Laura Hillen
SALINAS, CA – Tanimura & Antle is strengthening its organics operations, with a specific focus on assuring organic integrity as the company’s program continues its upward momentum. The company has announced John McKeon will serve as its Senior Manager of Organic Compliance & Sustainability.
In his new role, McKeon will oversee a wide variety of operational duties for T&A’s organic program. According to a press release, McKeon will direct compliance activities for T&A’s organic program, quality assurance for the company’s organic, commission, and consolidation supply chain. He will also direct R&D for organic materials and new business platforms, customer compliance management, FSMA compliance management for organic items, and standards development for sustainability and social accountability programs.
McKeon comes to the company with 20 years of experience founded on the integrity of standards, quality, and food safety in organic farming. This includes time spent at his most recent role as Director of Ag Supply for Earthbound Farm.
McKeon’s hiring comes at a perfect time for T&A, as the company launched a limited organic trial in preparation for a full launch later this year. T&A’s organic program is certified by CCOF, and the company has joined the Organic Trade Association, as well.
“We’re getting a fantastic response from customers as we outline plans for the Tanimura & Antle organic program,” said Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Jeff Jackson. “Demand for organic produce continues to expand but it takes commitment and credibility to succeed at it 52 weeks a year. We are investing the time and resources necessary to build a reliable year-round program. And our customers know that the Tanimura & Antle legacy of integrity and dependability ensures the best possible organic program.”
McKeon first joined Earthbound Farm in 2007, where he worked closely with the company’s expansive network of organic growers. His roles ranged from assuring organic integrity and compliance with domestic and international standards to additional industry and regulatory audit compliance, and field food safety and Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) compliance. He also managed grower contracts and developed the organic land base strategy for the company.
“I couldn’t ask for a better partner to build out the Tanimura & Antle Organic program,” said Chris Glynn, Director of Organics at T&A, and former colleague of McKeon’s from Earthbound Farm. “John is the consummate organic professional. He’s committed to organic integrity, passionate about the benefits of organic farming, and an expert in the organic farming landscape in the Salinas Valley and down in the desert.”
Prior to joining Earthbound Farm, McKeon gained important organics experience as an independent organic inspector and Director of Grower/Livestock Certification for CCOF. McKeon earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz–a program that has proven to be a fertile source of organic luminaries; which includes Earthbound Farm’s Drew Goodman, and Organic Farming Research Foundation’s Mark Lipson.
T&A stated that organic is consistent with the company’s broader, long-term commitment to sustainability, which includes:
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in both organic and non-organic crops
- Minimum tillage to avoid soil erosion
- Cover cropping and crop rotation
- Drip irrigation resulting in 19% decrease in water usage
- Protection of adjacent ecosystems
Congratulations on joining the Tanimura & Antle family, John!
For more on the company’s sustainability practices, click here.