Company Press Release
With a focus on assuring organic integrity in their growing organic program, Tanimura & Antle has hired John McKeon as Senior Manager of Organic Compliance & Sustainability. In this new role, McKeon will direct all compliance activities for the company’s organic program, quality assurance for the company’s organic, commission and consolidation supply chain, 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. From 2007 until he joined Tanimura & Antle, McKeon was at Earthbound Farm, most recently as Director of Ag Supply, working closely with their expansive network of organic growers. McKeon joins his Earthbound Farm colleague Chris Glynn, Tanimura & Antle’s Director of Organics.
McKeon’s 20-year career focus has been on the integrity of standards, quality and food safety in organic farming. While at Earthbound, McKeon’s roles ranged from assuring organic integrity and compliance with domestic and international standards to additional industry and regulatory audit compliance, field food safety and Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) compliance, managing grower contracts and developing the organic land base strategy for the company. Prior to joining Earthbound Farm, McKeon was in independent organic inspector and Director or Grower/Livestock Certification for CCOF. McKeon earned his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz – a program that has proven to be a fertile source of organic luminaries, including Earthbound Farm’s Drew Goodman and Organic Farming Research Foundation’s Mark Lipson.
“I couldn’t ask for a better partner to build out the Tanimura & Antle Organic program,” said Glynn, Director of Organics. “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.”
The company has launched a limited organic trial in preparation for a full launch later this year. “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.”
Tanimura & Antle’s organic program is certified organic by CCOF, one of the country’s leading organic certifiers. The company has also joined the Organic Trade Association. Organic is consistent with Tanimura & Antle’s broader, long-term commitment to sustainability, including:
• 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