In The Press
A Conversation with New Board Chairman of the California Prune Board: George Sousa, Jr.
The California Prune Board confirmed the newly elected board seats this past June and George Sousa Jr. assumed the role as chairman on of August 1, 2020. George is the President of Mariani Packing Co., Inc., a global dried fruit manufacturing family business in Vacaville, Calif. As a 4th generation family member, George has been with the company since 1982 and has managed all aspects of the organization during this time. He is passionate about prunes and excited to bring his enthusiasm to the board as the new chairman. Read the interview below.
What do you hope to achieve in the next year?
We knew we’d have a short crop this year, so it is important to maintain the programs we have in place and increase grower knowledge and support of the board’s activities. We have to keep communicating with our growers and handlers, executing on our vision and strategic plan, and creating deliverables for our management team and the agencies we use to promote California Prunes. These deliverables will ensure we are getting the results for the money that we are investing.
What will your leadership look like?
The Board is made up of industry leaders and we have all made a commitment to do what’s in the best interest for growers and packers and ensure the long-term health of the entire industry. In particular, the executive committee has made a strong effort to think about the industry as if we were running our own businesses. We look at the executive team as a senior management group and work with the different committees to execute the strategic side.
What makes you confident in the future of the California Prune industry?
There has been a lot of transition in California ag over the last few years, and the prune business has certainly been impacted. While we’ve had a substantial oversupply of prunes, the combination of less acreage and the world supply coming into balance with demand has put us in a much more stable industry position.
The biggest advantage we have is that California Prunes offer all the things consumers are looking for. Prunes are healthy, functional, and portable and we have the research to support it. To me, the key is to work more closely together as an industry, focus on the premium quality of California Prunes, and deliver a value-added product, which will be reflected in the pricing to growers.
To increase demand and consumption of California Prunes, we want to continue to highlight the incredible nutrition research with the media, our partners, and with influencers who educate others. Our management team is committed to strengthening and growing demand. Together with our in-country agencies, we have a well-coordinated effort to promote California Prunes with a consistent message.
MARIANI PACKING LAUNCHES PROBIOTICS IN SINGLE-SERVE PACKS
NEW CONVENIENT DAILY PROBIOTIC DRIED FRUIT PACKS DELIVER NUTRITION & HEALTH BENEFITS
Vacaville, CA (June 9, 2020) — Mariani Packing Company, the world’s largest independent family-owned producer of dried fruit, announced they are continuing their rich history of innovation by launching new Probiotic Single-Serve Packs. Based on the success of their best-selling Probiotic Dried Fruit line and consumer demand for on-the-go packaging, the new Probiotic Single-Serve Packs will come in a weekly 7-day supply carton, in two fruit varieties: Probiotic Apricots and Probiotic Prunes, in 1.4 oz each pack.
Mariani’s dried apricots and dried prunes contain soluble fiber, acting as a prebiotic, that may be a fuel source for probiotics to thrive. They are also naturally sweet, with no sugar added, and a good source of antioxidant vitamins A and E, vitamins B6, B12, potassium, and iron.
The GanedenBC30® probiotic active cultures in Mariani’s Probiotic Apricots and Probiotic Prunes are 10x more effective than yogurt cultures in surviving the transit through the harsh stomach environment into the gut. Just 1 serving per day may safely support your digestive health and immune system. GanedenBC30 is recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA, as well as vegan, gluten-free, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher, and Halal certified.
“Today’s consumers are looking for convenient, healthy and on-the-go solutions that are nutritious and delicious. The new Mariani Probiotic Single-Serve Packs combine the natural prebiotics found in fruit with GanedenBC30 Bacillus Coagulans GBI-30, 6086® probiotics to help boost immune and digestive wellness anywhere they are; at home, work, school, or travel,” states Bob Hyland, VP, Global CPG Sales & Marketing.
These new Probiotic Single-Serve Packs are the latest in Mariani’s full line of Probiotic dried fruit including Probiotic Cranberries, Raisins, Apricots, Berries & Plums and Prunes, available nationwide at Albertsons/Safeway, Walmart and most major retail grocery stores or online at www.mariani.com
Featured in Nutrition Insight
Probiotic dried fruit line bolsters snacking sector. Link to article.
Mariani Packing Launches Probiotics in Single-Serve Packs Link to article.
Mariani Single-Serve Probiotic Packs Link to article.
Drug Store News
Mariani Packing Rolls out Single-Serve Probiotic Packs Link to article.
Mariani Packing introduces new Probiotic Single-Serve Packs Link to article.
Mariani Packing Launches Probiotics In Single-Serve Packs Link to article.
MediaPost: Marketing Daily
Gut Check: Prebiotics, Probiotics On The Upswing Link to article.
Mariani Packing is Thankful to its Community Members:
Our Food Heroes
May 26, 2020
As we work toward a recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mariani Packing Company is incredibly proud of our Community Members who have risen to the occasion to ensure that we’re able to maintain an uninterrupted supply of great-tasting and healthy food for consumers across our country and around the world. Mariani, an Essential Business and part of the Food Chain Supply, stands committed to fulfilling our mission. Driving this effort has been our Front- line Production & Logistics Teams who have answered the call – allowing our facilities to run 6 days a week, 24 hours a day to ensure that we remain fully open and operational to meet the historic record demand we’ve experienced as our customers work to keep store shelves full, and people nourished. “The unwavering commitment by these dedicated Team Members have made them our Food Heroes” said George Sousa, Jr., family member and President of Mariani Packing Company. “In my 40 plus years working with the company, I have never been so proud of our Team Members. They are a daily inspiration to us all.” Contributing to their success has been their vigilance in enforcing and adhering to the guidelines established by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as well as those issued by Local and State Authorities to protect all of their fellow Community Members’ health at work and home. To date, the Team’s commitment to safety & sanitation has resulted in zero confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst our Community Members who work throughout our five production facilities in two states. Mariani has honored these Food Heroes with recognition for their dedication and service.
We Embrace Change
For more than 100 years, Mariani Packing Company has lived by a set of core values, including “Embrace Change.” During this time of uncertainty and rapid change, we are committed to proactively responding to the ever-changing business conditions posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this event and we appreciate the work being performed by healthcare workers, local communities, and governments around the world who are on the front line working to contain this coronavirus.
We thank all our loyal Community Members and our Customers for trusting in us to continue to provide our complete line of Mariani dried fruit and snack products during this time, and we stand committed to fulfilling our promise to care for our Community Members, Customers, and our Communities. Together, we will prevail and come out stronger.
Michael Mariani, Mariani Packing Co., Inc.,
Elected as California League of Food Producers’ 2020-21 Chair
May 19, 2020
Michael Mariani, Mariani Packing Co., Inc. was elected as California League of Food Producers’ 2020-21 chair at the 2020 Annual Board of Directors Meeting held on April 30. Mariani is a partner with Mariani Packing and is based out of Mariani Packing Co.’s headquarters in Vacaville, CA.
The company is a family business and for four generations has grown, dried, processed and packaged a wide variety of dried fruit snacks and ingredient products. Processing facilities are located in Marysville, CA, and Wisconsin Rapids, WI.
Mariani Packing is a longtime member of California League of Food Producers (CLFP).
Other 2020-2021 CLFP officers elected were Pat Ricchiuti, ENZO Olive Oil Company, Clovis, CA, as first vice-chair, and Jim Lipman, California Olive Ranch, Chico, CA, as second vice-chair. Ross Siragusa, The Kraft Heinz Company, Stockton, CA, will continue as immediate past chair.
CLFP board of director members also were nominated to serve new and continued terms on the Executive Committee.
California League of Food Producers’ announcement.
MARIANI PACKING’s CONTINUED RESPONSE TO COVID-19
May 1, 2020
Mariani continues its commitment to help our Customers, Vendors and Community Members
At Mariani Packing Company, we are committed to helping our Community Members, their families, our Customers, our Vendors and our Consumers during these challenging times. We have taken several steps in support of our Community Members with increased safety measures and operational changes in our plants and offices. And we will continue to be of service to all of you during these uncertain times.
What we are doing for our Community Members
Our employees, or Community Members, are the backbone of Mariani Packing Company and here are some highlights of how we are protecting them. Our top concern is our members’ health and safety. We have made office and plant process changes to reflect that.
- We distribute and require use of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, hair nets, gloves, and gowns for use by our Community Members as applicable on the plant floor, and in the office.
- We screen all Community Members by taking their temperature prior to entering our facilities. This also includes mandatory temperature checkpoints for all personnel entering our facilities including vendors, drivers, & visitors.
- We mandate social distancing in our plants and offices by maintaining a 6 feet distance from others.
- We have increased the frequency of when we disinfect and clean workspaces such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment throughout the workday. This includes doorknobs, light switches, handrails, kitchen appliances, counter tops, drawer pulls, tables, sinks, faucet and toilet handles, drinking fountains, push plates, phones and remote controls.
- Community Members are required to wash their hands frequently for 20 seconds throughout the day.
- Whilst our essential plant Community Members have been at work throughout this epidemic, to reduce employee concentration we have directed our office staff who are able to work remotely to do so since April 3rd.
- We have cancelled all non-essential business travel and transitioned to remote Zoom video conference meetings with our customers.
- We are committed to ensuring that all our plant Community Members work in a safe and secure workplace.
What we are doing for our Customers
We stand committed to delivering unwavering service to our domestic and global Customers, ensuring that we fulfill every order in a timely fashion. With dried fruit being considered “an excellent pantry stable food product” consumers are stocking up at home, and the demand for our products has increased significantly over the past few weeks.
- We have extended our plants production to seven days a week to meet our retail customers demand for our dried fruits.
- We have leveraged our relationship with our long-term fruit growers to acquire as much fruit as possible to satisfy the increased demand.
- We have increased our packaging inventory to ensure we have the materials on hand to support the increased production.
- We’re closely monitoring ordering patterns to ensure our customers are able to have sufficient inventory levels to accommodate their customers demand.
- We have introduced new Probiotic products that are great for immune and digestive health support.
- We are helping our customers stay connected and informed with frequent updates on product availability and company capabilities.
What we are doing for our Communities
We take great pride in supporting the communities that we are part of and take a leadership role in shaping their future.
- We are committed to providing and protecting employment for all Community Members and continue to hire for open positions.
- We have provided flexibility for employees whose family situation have changed as the result of this crisis, enabling them to better attend to family members needing additional support – seniors and children.
- We are providing support within our local communities to help those in need to persevere during these challenging times.
To date we have had no positive cases of COVID-19 identified amongst our Community Members. We have been fortunate and believe we can attribute this in part to the increased safety procedures that Mariani Packing Company has taken to protect our Community Members.
We thank all our loyal Customers for trusting in us to continue to provide our complete line of Mariani dried fruit and snack products during this time, and we stand committed to fulfilling our promise to care for our Community Members, Customers and our Communities. Together, we will prevail and come out stronger.
From our Family to Yours,
Mark A. Mariani
Chairman / CEO
George Sousa, Jr.
MARIANI PACKING COMPANY’S ACTIONS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19
March 20, 2020
To All of Our Valued Customers,
During this difficult time of uncertainty, the Mariani and Sousa Families stand committed to keeping our company open and fully operational in order to service our consumers, whilst focusing on the health and safety of our Mariani community members, families and surrounding communities. Mariani Packing Company, the world’s largest independent family-owned producer of dried fruit, is closely monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 crisis at the local and global level. Mariani, an Essential Business and part of the U.S. Food Chain Supply, stands committed to doing our part by keeping our company fully open and operational (as part of the Presidential Policy Directive 21, food manufacturers have been deemed a Critical Infrastructure Industry) and continue our responsibility of manufacturing and distributing healthy and high-quality food for consumers. We will be maintaining our normal working schedule, while executing the guidelines established by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as well as those issued by Local and State Authorities to protect all our community members’ health at work and home.
We Embrace Change
For more than 100 years, Mariani Packing Company has lived by a set of core values, including “Embrace Change.” During this time of uncertainty and rapid change, we are committed to being flexible and adaptable to the ever-changing business conditions posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19), which has been declared as a Pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO.) Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this event and we appreciate the work being performed by healthcare workers, local communities and governments around the world who are on the front line working to contain this coronavirus.
Our Commitment to Our Customers
We stand committed to delivering unwavering service to our domestic and global customers, ensuring that we fulfill every order in a timely fashion. With dried fruit being considered “an excellent pantry stable food product” consumers are stocking up at home, and the demand for our products has increased significantly over the past few weeks. We are working closely with our long-term fruit growers and packaging vendors to make sure we can deliver on the increased demand for our products, without compromising on the quality you come to expect from Mariani Packing.
Protecting Our Community Members
Based on our core value of “Mutual Respect”, we value and trust every community member in our organization, by providing all the means for them to safely perform their assigned duties and contribute to supporting our customers’ expectations. We have increased our stringent practices of disinfecting surfaces multiple times a day, as well as reinforcing hygienic personal practices around our offices and plants, as per CDC and WHO guidelines on health and safety. In a further effort to keep our members safe, we are re-scheduling non-essential planned travel and events and sharing the latest health and wellness tips provided by CDC.
On behalf of our Family business, I thank all of our loyal customers for trusting in us to continue to provide our complete line of high quality and nourishing Mariani dried fruit and snack products during this time. From our Family to yours!
Mark A. Mariani
Chairman / CEO
George Sousa, Jr.
STAYING HOME DURING THE CORONAVIRUS?
Here’s what to stock in your fridge and pantry according to various news sources
Dried fruit: Shop for dried raisins, mango (which is a year-round nutritionist favorite), dates, figs, apricots, prunes, and whichever dried fruits you fancy. Link to article.
Other recommended foods are peanut butter, jelly, crackers, nuts, trail mix, dried fruits, granola bars, bouillon cubes, and staples like sugar, salt, pepper. Link to article.
Citizen Times (Part of USA Today)
Fruit, dried and frozen: Fresh fruit doesn’t last long. Dried and frozen cherries, blueberries, mangos, strawberries, etc., last indefinitely. Link to article.
Know which long-lasting perishables are best to add to your list. Link to article.
As the coronavirus spreads, people across the world are preparing for the possibility of forced quarantines, and shutdowns of businesses and services. According to a survey of 1,051 US adults by Insider Data, 22% are stockpiling food. For snacks, stockpile high-energy items like nuts and jerky, but also low-sodium dried fruit and protein bars. Dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and shelf-stable meat like beef jerky can provide an efficient source of energy and other nutrients, and can be stored for long periods of time. Link to article.
How to strengthen your immunity to coronavirus. Part 1: Diet. As the coronavirus situation intensifies, there are ways to keep your immune system functioning optimally, which can help to keep you healthy and give you a sense of control in an uncertain time. Link to article.
American Society for Nutrition
Making Health and Nutrition a Priority During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. Link to article.
New York Times
What You Can Do About Coronavirus Right Now. Here’s some practical advice from doctors and public health experts to protect yourself and your community. Link to article.
Food Care Package Ideas for a Sick Friend. Link to article.
Mariani Learning has been recognized with two Prestigious Awards
2019 Best New Program Launch & 2020 Bronze Organization in the Learning Elite Awards
Mariani was recognized as the Best New Program Launch by Biz Library in September 2019 for our Mariani Learning and Mariani Learning Online programs. The award is given by Biz Library, a leading provider of online employee training and e-learning solutions for over 730 clients. This award not only recognizes the efforts we’ve made in rolling out our e-learning program, but also recognizes our “Mariani Learning – Learn, Share, Grow” culture as a whole.
Mariani has also been recognized with the prestigious Bronze Organization designation in the 2020 Learning Elite Awards. The Learning Elite is known in the training industry as the “Top 50” in the country. Chief Learning Officer magazine hosts this benchmarking program every year to honor organizations for standout learning and development. Learning Elite judges reviewed applications and rated organizations based on five dimensions: learning strategy, leadership commitment, learning execution, learning impact and business performance results.