Sakata Seed America’s Jonny McIntier Details New Position, Program, and Facility

Wed. June 29th, 2022 - by Lilian Diep

MORGAN HILL, CA - Crunchy, crispy, carb-free—a cornucopia of words fills my head at the thought of lettuce. And with the season heating up, this leafy veg will also be filling my salad bowl as well as other fresh fiends’. With the produce aisle a rainbow of varietal opportunities, I tapped Jonny McIntier, whom Sakata Seed America recently appointed to Lettuce Product Manager, to learn more about the latest lettuce program and the recently opened distribution facility in Marina, California, adjacent to Salinas Valley.

But first, I dug into Jonny’s new position.

Jonny McIntier, Lettuce Product Manager, Sakata Seed America“It’s been a whirlwind! I joined Sakata on March 1 of this year. Prior to joining Sakata, I spent 20 years in the vegetable seed industry working on various crops including lettuce, melons, watermelon, broccoli, and cauliflower, among others,” Jonny explains to me. “Most recently, I worked for a gene-editing company working on specialty crops.”

With an amazing repertoire of experience under his belt, we dove straight into his area of expertise: lettuce and what the new program means for Sakata.

“The addition of the lettuce program fits into Sakata’s commitment to quality, reliability, and service. It was a great compliment to our current portfolio of cool-season crops,” notes Jonny. “It is also a segment of the market that will benefit from Sakata Seed’s history and commitment to bringing the market what it needs by leveraging our extensive R&D capabilities. Sakata also has the benefit of being able to leverage our global breeding programs in lettuce based in Japan and Brazil.”

Sakata Seed America continues to make strides in exploring the capabilities and varieties of the lettuce category, including upping varieties’ tolerance against fungi, like Fusarium

As Sakata continues exploring how lettuce can further build out its portfolio as well as suppliers’ out in the field, Jonny lets me in on what the seed company plans to accomplish this year—upping varieties’ tolerance against fungi, like Fusarium.

“We are leading the way for Fusarium tolerance and have plans for more releases to cover a larger harvest period for growing regions in Coastal California and Desert production as well as Florida,” explains Jonny. “For Fusarium tolerance, we offer Meridian and Oracle, both of which have industry-leading performance. Cielo Verde is the market standard in green leaf for the Desert. Lockwood, Portola, Omega 42, and the Regency Series continue to have strong demand and perform well in the Coastal markets.”

Sakata Seed continues to make strides in exploring the capabilities and varieties of the lettuce category, which leads to providing those seeds to our industry. In order to further strengthen its prowess in this sector, the company recently entered an agreement to lease a large distribution facility in Marina, known as the Sakata Marina Distribution Facility and will make a great addition for the industry and Sakata.

The seed producer recently opened a new distribution facility in Marina, California, which allows Sakata to take the seed from the field and process it in one facility without having to transport the seed through multiple facilities for cleaning, packing, and shipping

“Now, we have the capability of storing seed in the two largest lettuce markets for local pickup and short delivery times,” elaborates Jonny. “The marina facility offers over 20,000 square feet of warehouse space that has temperature-controlled loading and storage dock, office space for onsite customer service, as well as room for lettuce seed milling equipment.”

This facility will now allow Sakata to take the seed from the field and process it in one facility without having to transport the seed through multiple facilities for cleaning, packing, and shipping, providing ease and convenience that gets passed along the supply chain.

Exciting developments are afoot! Keep checking back to AndNowUKnow for the latest changes in the industry.

Sakata Seed America