California Giant Brings in Directors to Fill New Roles as Tom Smith Expands Role
- by Lilian Diep
WATSONVILLE, CA - California Giant Berry Farms aims to move forward in the organics program, gearing towards bigger growth and operations throughout the Americas and Mexico. Leading that charge will be none other than Tom Smith, currently the Director of Foodservice. Now, Smith will be adding Organics to his title as the new Director of Foodservice and Organics, cementing his position within the company after several months of working in the area behind the scenes.
“Tom has done a fantastic job leading our foodservice team and growing our foodservice business. He has also been working more closely with our organic growers. With the continued growth of our organic berry offerings, it made logical sense to make him the Director of Organics as well,” says Joe Barsi, Chief Operating Officer, in the press release.
“Foodservice is near and dear to me, and we are committed to increase our footprint in this segment. With the addition of Organics in my role, I look forward to working more with our retail team and our retail and wholesale customers to target growth of organics. The timing is perfect as I head to Nashville for the SEPC Southern Innovations Organics and Foodservice Conference this week,” says Smith.
Effective September 1, 2019, Smith is now responsible for the future direction of the foodservice and organic sales team in the development of California Giant’s strategic sales plan.
But that’s not the only cause of celebration. Thomas Taggart joined the team as the Senior Director of Operations on September 9, 2019, bringing in over 25 years of extensive experience developing and implementing quality systems, food safety programs, and new technologies both domestically and internationally. Working with the executive team, he will be responsible for quality systems, food safety, and innovation.
Taggart will also work with the operations team partnering with the sales; field operations; vendors; grower partners; and Juana Ramirez, Director of Supply Chain Management, also a recent hire this past summer. Both Taggart and Ramirez have worked together previously and are eager to be on the same team again at California Giant as the company continues to expand globally with all four berry types.
“As we plan for the future, we need more experience in our operations team,” says Barsi. “Juana was brought on earlier in the year to assist with some of the succession plans we have in place and will lead our packaging and supply chain initiatives. Thomas has broad berry industry experience from processing, to quality assurance to packaging, which will also fill some of the roles as our leadership transitions in the future.”
We at ANUK wish nothing but success for California Giant, Smith, and Taggart in their journey!