The United Vegetable Growers Cooperative, Salinas, Calif., has named Eric Schwartz as chief executive officer--the first time the organization has had a CEO post. The nonprofit focuses on conventional and organic leafy greens and row crop vegetable production.
Schwartz has more than 30 years of experience with fresh, processed and frozen produce. He was previously chief executive officer of Patterson Vegetable Co. for three years. Past roles included president of Salyer American Fresh Foods and president of Dole Fresh Vegetables.
Tony Alameda, board president for the United Vegetable Growers Cooperative, said in a news release that growth in membership and in the complexity of issues facing vegetable producers prompted the move. "In the past, we had success with various members managing our strategic direction in addition to managing their own business," he said. "Eric provides insight and the bridge we need between growing, processing and the end users in retail and food service."