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Spotlight on Earl’s Organic Produce

by Shawna Rodgers |
Earl Herrick, Robert Lichtenberg, Sovita Sau and Jeff Flowers       Tomatero Farm Tour_0

If you take a glance at the “Who We Are” page of the Earl’s Organic Produce website, you’ll see countless references to Earl’s commitment to maintaining partnerships in organic. “Cultivating enduring partnerships,” connecting “those who produce and consume organic food,” and “creating mutually beneficial, meaningful, and committed relationships across the food chain,” are but a few highlights that reveal the culture of community that interweaves all operations at this San Francisco-based company. CCOF and the CCOF Foundation are grateful to be amongst those partners.  

For many years, Earl’s has been an active participant in the CCOF Foundation’s Organic Training Institute. As a co-host of our San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market Tour for the last eight years, Earl’s staff and the company’s founder, Earl Herrick, have shared enthusiasm for their craft with tour participants. 

Earl’s Organic also participates in San Francisco’s Super Green Program, helping the city of San Francisco reach its goal to be 100% renewable by the year 2025; supports the Organic Trade Association and Organic Farming Research Foundation; and is a keen supporter of the work of the CCOF Foundation. When asked what motivates this innovative company to donate to the CCOF Foundation’s programs,  Herrick shared his thoughts:

I support [CCOF] because you were the one! You were the one to be certified by. When I got into [organic] in the early 80s, CCOF was the easy default because they were the only ones! Over the years, CCOF has done the right job of maintaining its profile, whether it’s the information they send out; the media they share; the topics of discussion they lead; and their involvement directly with Earl’s, whether that’s a donation, the tours, the information on the different chapters, or the annual dinners. All that, for me, just added to CCOF being available and continuing to focus on what I agreed were the right priorities at the time. 

Early on, it was very much about understanding the laws and advocating for farmers, and for Earl’s that is our main goal: without the farmers we aren’t doing anything. So, all those things added to really a no-brainer for me. Meeting CCOF’s different people, whether they’ve been on the tours, emails, conversations, or in on site meetings, the people have always been very positive, very professional, and very down to earth. In a lot of ways, CCOF hasn’t made any mistakes, so I haven’t been eager to change anything: CCOF gave me no reason NOT to be supportive and not to understand a partnership when I see one. When we got certified organic by CCOF, that continued to solidify our partnership and bring note to how we respect the organization. Any time I would speak to new growers or people that were considering growing and we’d get to the point of certification, CCOF would always be the ones we’d recommend.

Deep thanks to Earl Herrick and his team at Earl’s Organic Produce for their true partnership with CCOF and the CCOF Foundation and supporting success for organic farmers and producers.

Earl on the right walking the Side Hill Citrus Satsuma Orchards with grower and CCOF       Board Member Rich Ferreira