California Giant promotes in organics, hires director of operations

California Giant promotes in organics, hires director of operations

Tom Smith, director of foodservice at California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville, Calif., is adding organics to his purview.

Smith, who joined California Giant in early 2017 in the foodservice role, has been leading the company’s expansion into that sector, according to a news release, and has been the sales liaison with organic growers who supply the berry company in recent months. The new title director of foodservice and organics became official Sept. 1.

“With the continued growth of our organic berry offerings, it made logical sense to make him the director of organics as well,” Joe Barsi, chief operating officer, said in the release.

Thomas Taggart started as the new senior director of operations on Sept. 9, and will play a vital role in the company’s growth throughout North and South America and Mexico, according to the release. He’ll be responsible for quality systems, food safety and innovation.
Taggart has more than 25 years of experience in the industry, including in quality analysis at Driscoll’s.

He will be working with Juana Ramirez, California Giant’s new director of supply chain management. They worked together recently at a packaging company, according to the release.

“As we plan for the future, we need more experience in our operations team,” Barsi said in the release. “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,” Barsi said in the release.

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