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Recap, Information and Resources
on Produce Packaging Law and Design

In the produce industry, where products are perishable, food safety is critical, margins are tight, regulations are abundant, retailers are demanding and consumers are fickle, the challenges to creating the perfect package are considerable. From lost sales to product recalls to litigation and government actions, the costs of an imperfect package can also be considerable.

Colorful illustrations of the importance of labeling

In the summer of 2017, a series of seminars were presented in Salinas, Visalia and Sacramento, California that provided the latest information then available on produce packaging law, manufacturing and design.

Our panel of industry professionals provided the latest information on packaging law and design, including intellectual property and the importance of protecting your brand, food labeling compliance and the risks of litigation, offerings in packaging materials and choosing them wisely, and design techniques that set your product apart and engage consumers.

Below is a summary of the presentations, video capture of the Salinas presentations, and produce packaging information and resources that were provided to the participants.

Protect Your Brand and Intellectual Property

By Chris Passarelli
Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty

  • Value-Added Branding Through Packaging
  • Proprietary Rights in Packaging Shape and Design
  • Competition and Intellectual Property Considerations
  • Trademarks and Copyrights: use and infringement
  • Practical Tips from the Trenches

Stay Out of Court and Avoid Regulatory Action

By Dale Stern
Downey Brand LLP

  • FDA, USDA and Canadian Food Labeling Compliance – Are you following the rules?
  • Regulated Terms vs. Unregulated Terms – It’s critical to know the difference
  • Litigation Risks of Unsubstantiated Labels – Can you prove EVERYTHING your label claims?
  • Even Unregulated Terms Can Get You Into Trouble
  • Success and Failure in the Courts

Choose Packaging Materials Wisely

By Thomas Hoops
Garlock Printing and Converting

  • Past, Present and Future of Packaging Materials
  • Materials Selection to Protect Products & Extend Shelf Life
  • All Inks and Printing Processes are Not the Same
  • Sustainable Packaging Options
  • Film, Fins, Seals, Slits, Perforations, Laminations, etc.

Design Packages That Sell

By Terry Feinberg and Karen Nardozza
Moxxy Marketing

  • What’s Outside Sells What’s Inside
  • Maintain Consistent Brand Look on Different Packaging Materials
  • Fit-In While Standing Out
  • Showcase Product Quality While Hiding Flaws
  • Understand and Influence Consumer Purchase Decisions

Our Experts and Sponsors

Chris Passarelli

California native Chris Passarelli grew up “on the farm” in the ag regions of the San Joaquin and Napa Valleys, and now acts as an intellectual property counsel to the industry—protecting brands, trade secrets and technology for major food and beverage producers, ag marketers, suppliers, and partners.

Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty

Rooted in the wine regions of Napa and Sonoma, Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty provides full service legal representation to clients throughout California, the United States and abroad, and has extensive experience in agriculture law and the agriculture industry. The Firm’s major practice areas include alcohol beverage law, business and corporate dealings, land use matters, labor and employment, civil litigation, intellectual property, geographical indications, real property transactions, water law as well as agriculture law.

Dale Stern

Dale has nearly 30 years of experience focused on the agricultural industry. He provides business and regulatory advice and counsel to major agricultural producers, processors and retailers throughout the state, and serves as general counsel to many of the industry’s trade associations and charitable foundations.

Downey Brand LLP

From offices in Sacramento, San Francisco, Stockton, and Silicon Valley, Downey Brand is strategically positioned to serve food and agriculture clients in a wide range of business and litigation matters throughout California, Northern Nevada and beyond. Founded over 90 years ago, in California’s capital city, Downey Brand is a preeminent full-service law firm with more than 90 attorneys offering counsel in more than 30 areas of civil practice. The firm is well-known for its deep industry knowledge in agriculture and natural resources as well as its breadth of business practices and litigation strength.

Thomas Hoops

Since graduating from Cal Poly SLO with a BS in Industrial Technology and a Minor in Packaging, Thomas Hoops has been involved with the development, support and technical sales of Produce Flexible Packaging for over 22 years in California. Thomas has witnessed the development of produce Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP), from its inception, to the packaging of today. The evolution has changed the way consumers view salads as part of their daily meals.

Garlock Printing and Converting

GARLOCK PRINTING & CONVERTING CORPORATION continues to be an innovative, visionary leader in the manufacture of flexible packaging with unparalleled quality, environmental sustainability, and consistent lead times. For over a quarter of a century, Garlock has been based in Gardner, MA. In 2014, Garlock opened a West Coast facility in Reno, NV. Garlock’s total manufacturing and warehouse area comprises approximately half-a-million square feet.

Terry Feinberg

A country transplant from the garlic capital of the world, Terry is equally comfortable in his boots and wranglers on the ranch as he is leading policy discussions at the Chamber of Commerce boardroom. He advises agriculture clients on advertising, public relations, branding, packaging, product development, web/internet and other marketing practices. Clients have included Duncan Family Farms, Foodsource/Robinson Fresh, J. Marchini Farms, Muzzi Family Farms, Naturipe Berry Growers, Produce West, River Fresh Farms and others.

Karen Nardozza

With 20 years’ experience in food and beverage marketing and half her lifetime in Salinas, Karen provides expertise in brand development, packaging design, shopper marketing, sales collateral and a full complement of services to support the fresh industry. California brands have included Blue Diamond Almonds, Braga Farms/Josie’s Organics, Chiquita/Fresh Express, Mariani Packing, NewStar Fresh and Tanimura & Antle.

Moxxy Marketing

Savvy marketing for agriculture, food, beverage, and more. We help set your marketing strategy, develop your brand, tell your story and design packaging that gets you noticed. We give you peace of mind by executing flawlessly and meeting deadlines within budget. We make it look easy and we make it fun. And that’s why some of the most successful companies in ag and food rely on us.

Western Growers

Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California and Colorado. Our members and their workers provide over half the nation's fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including nearly half of America's fresh organic produce. Some members also farm throughout the U.S. and in other countries so people have year-round access to nutritious food.

CColorful illustrated packaging examples.

  • Orange logo for Moxxy Marketing
  • Logo for Garlock Printing and Converting
  • Logo for Downey Brand.
  • Logo for Dickenson, Peatman and Fogarty.
  • Logo for Western Growers