California leafy greens org, LGMA, hires Greg Komar as technical director
California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) has announced that Greg Komar has been hired as the organization’s new technical director. Mike Villaneva, the LGMA’s current technical director, is retiring in May 2019. Komar will report directly to LGMA CEO, Scott Horsfall.
With more than 20 years of experience in technical aspects of production agriculture, Komar has served in a wide variety of roles. Early in his career, Komar worked in areas including laboratory analysis, applied research and seed breeding. He also has managed compliance programs for Mann Packing, Green Giant Fresh and Earthbound Farms, and has helped manage audit programs for certification bodies NSF Agriculture and SCS Global Services.
“Mike Villaneva has served as our Technical Director for the past 10 years and leaves some very big shoes to be filled. The challenge was not only finding a qualified and knowledgeable candidate but a candidate who can relate to all of LGMA’s different stakeholder groups,” Horsfall said. “Greg is an excellent fit for the organization’s needs and we are confident he will excel in his new role with the LGMA.”
As technical director, Komar will work closely with the food safety community and industry stakeholders to assure the LGMA-accepted on-farm food safety practices are fully understood and implemented. Additionally, he will help to develop and deliver training programs to the industry. His ultimate goal in this position is to work with stakeholders to continually strive for ways to assure that leafy greens are safe and healthy for consumers.
“Working at the LGMA provides a path to serving an industry that has been so good to me,” Komar said. “I want to use my knowledge and experience to help assure that our leafy greens products are safe. I look forward to continuing to provide the industry with exceptional service and to advancing and improving our programs as food safety and compliance needs in the agriculture industry change.”
LGMA members are companies that ship and sell California-grown lettuce, spinach and other leafy greens products. The California LGMA has a sister program in Arizona that is almost identical. Working with hundreds of farmers throughout California and Arizona, LGMA members produce approximately 90 percent of the leafy greens grown in the U.S. – that adds up to over 50 billion servings of leafy greens each year.
LGMA membership is not mandatory but once a company decides to join, it subjects itself to mandatory government audits provided by USDA-certified, government inspectors. LGMA members are audited multiple times throughout the season and must achieve 100 percent compliance with the LGMA food safety practices.