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Deadline nears to join LGMA

by | March 18, 2010
The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement is currently accepting signup forms from new signatories for the 2010-11 fiscal year. In order to participate in the LGMA program from April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011, handlers need to fill out their signup form and submit it to the LGMA office by end of day on April 1.

Current members do not need to sign up again. Any signatory that wishes to terminate its membership in the organization needs to submit its intent in writing by April 1.

Over 100 handlers of California lettuce, spinach and other leafy greens joined the agreement in 2007, committing themselves to handle and sell products grown in accordance with a set of food-safety practices.

The LGMA defines a handler as any entity that handles, processes, ships or distributes leafy green product for market whether as owner, agent, employee, broker or otherwise. This definition does not include a retailer.

Leafy green products covered by the LGMA include arugula, baby leaf lettuce, Butter lettuce, cabbage, chard, endive, escarole, green leaf lettuce, Iceberg lettuce, kale, red leaf lettuce, Romaine lettuce, spinach and spring mix.

Handlers that would like to join the LGMA need to verify that they meet the agreement's definition of a handler and also that they handle at least one of the leafy green products covered under the program.

Members of the LGMA are subject to assessments on all California-grown leafy greens handled by the company during the period of April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011. Once enrolled in the program, members and their growers are subject to mandatory government audits conducted by California Department of Food & Agriculture inspectors.