Leafy Greens Council Story
Most trade organizations are started when a small group of people meet to discuss common problems and then decide they need to organize an association of all the people within that trade as a means of developing a solution to the common problem.
Such was not the case with the Leafy Greens Council.
It was launched in 1974 in Chicago by Robert Strube Sr., president of Strube Celery & Vegetable Company, a leading receiver on the Chicago South Water Market Terminal, and Ray Clark, public relations counsel who founded his business in 1964 in Chicago.
Strube and Clark studied marketing developments in the fresh spinach market and decided fresh spinach should be promoted nationally, especially for the growing foodservice industry. They incorporated the National Spinach Association and contacted growers, shippers and others who might have an interest in developing a national promotional program. The first annual meeting was held Feb. 2 in 1975 in Las Vegas, Nevada during the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association Convention.
By 1977 membership totaled only 19 companies. Pioneer members who continue their leadership today include Ken Jorgensen of Zellwin Farms, Zellwood, FL; Charley Wilkinson of Wilkinson-Cooper Produce, Belle Flade, FL; Basil and Roger Mills of Mills Distributing Co., Salinas, CA, and Frank Capurro & Sons of Watsonville, CA. Total dues collected came to $5,800. Robert Strube continued as president and Ray Clark was named executive director with no compensation.
Subsequently, the National Spinach Association changed its name to the Leafy Greens Council as a means of broadening potential membership, but only a few more companies joined the fledgling organization.
The Council began major growth in 1992 when six leaders of the cabbage industry met jointly with the Leafy Greens Council members at its annual meeting in Orlando, FL. Maureen Torrey of Torrey Farms, Elba, NY and, Dave Borzynski of Borzynski Farms, Sturtevant, WI were elected to the Board of Directors.