WG&S January 2016

For the better part of two years now, Western Growers has been working with other interested parties to learn how naturally-occurring cadmium might be taken up by fresh produce items, understand the implications to public health and to develop a methodology to proactively address the issue of cadmium in the diet.  We are particularly interested in cadmium in spinach, a commodity known to accumulate and concentrate this chemical element.

Hank Giclas

By Dave Puglia

In recent years, business and industry groups have been cautiously hopeful that as Democrats ran up their numbers in the California Legislature, a moderate faction would emerge within their ranks that could help deflect at least some of the annual barrage of legislation promoted by environmental groups, trial lawyers and labor unions.  For the cautiously optimistic, 2015 marks the emergence of just such a faction.

Editor’s Note: The questions and answers have been paraphrased for brevity and clarity.)


Anthony Rendon was elected in his first try for public office in 2012.  He served as chair of the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, which crafted the $7.5 billion state water bond that was passed by the electorate in November 2014.  In September, he was selected by his colleagues to the top post in his legislative body:  Speaker of the Assembly.


Where were you born and raised and tell us a little about your youth?

Tim Linden

By Cory Lunde and Stephanie Thara

On December 10, 2015, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif and a trio of prominent past and present Western Growers chairmen were on hand to formally open the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology (WGCIT) housed in the Taylor Farms headquarter building in Salinas, Calif.

Attending the event were nearly 250 Western Growers members, industry partners, academia, local officials and media, as well as the inaugural group of WGCIT tenants.

Cory Lunde

Barry Zwillinger


Legend Produce

Dos Palos, CA

WG Member Since 1999


AN NYC BEGINNING:  Back near the beginning of the previous century, Edward Zwillinger led generations of his family to the produce industry by first pushing a produce cart in New York City and then eventually opening up Zwillinger Company as a produce brokerage.  He was the first in a line of produce people that have basically made their living selling fruits and vegetables—mostly cantaloupes—for the better part of the past century.

Tim Linden

When Larry Cox was a younger man, he fought a losing battle against the concept and eventual enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  As a grower in 1991, he invested in 300 acres in a Mexican growing area near Mexicali, the year before NAFTA was enacted.

“When I was in college I lobbied against it reasoning that it would not be a good thing for California farmers,” he said.  But once it was on the certain path of becoming law, Cox reasoned that if it was bad for California farms it was probably going to be advantageous for Mexican farms.

Tim Linden

A regulation approving the limited use of agricultural personnel transport carriers (PTCs) in California goes into effect January 1, 2016. General Industry Safety Orders §3441 has been amended at new subdivision (i) to create an exception for PTC use under certain circumstances.

Here is a brief summary of the new regulation:

•   Use of PTCs would be limited to employees installing, removing or maintaining irrigation pipe for low-lying row crops. No other employees are allowed to board or ride on PTCs.

Jason Resnick

In 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered all employers (both union and non-union) to post notices informing employees of their rights under federal labor law.  The NLRB claimed the “Poster Rule” was necessary to help employees understand their rights.

Tom Nassif

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