Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

Social responsibility grows into a tradition at Fowler Packing Company

Jim Bates (CFO, Fowler Packing Company), Karen Ross (CDFA Secretary), Dennis Parnagian (President and Co-owner, Fowler Packing Company), Ken Esraelian (Plant Manager, Fowler Packing Company).

Fowler Packing Company CFO Jim Bates, CDFA Secretary Karen Ross, Fowler President and Co-owner Dennis Parnagian, and Fowler Plant Manager Ken Esraelian.

Established in 1950, Fowler Packing has been a staple in the Fresno community, operating two packing, cooling, and storage facilities covering more than 650,000 square feet at the company’s Fresno location. The company’s day-to-day achievements, like providing jobs and getting a lot of produce ready for the rest of us, are worthy of recognition – but what brought CDFA Secretary Karen Ross to the Fresno area for a tour recently was a different kind of accomplishment.

The legacy of Fowler Packing includes a tradition of social responsibility which includes providing free meals at an onsite cafeteria (“Cocina de Samuel”/“Sam’s Kitchen”) every day to several shifts of workers, not to mention access to a health clinic for the workers and their families. The company also maintains an active partnership with the Community Food Bank of Fresno.

Fowler President and co-owner Dennis Parnagian summed it up well: “This is what we do.  We want to take care of our family, our employees and we have the chance to reinvest in our company year after year.”

Secretary Ross added, “Fowler Packing is a wonderful example of the many multi-generational farm families I meet every year who have worked hard to grow their business, add family members to the team and vertically integrate to meet the ever-expanding demand of consumers for healthy California grown products. It is my great honor to work with such great people!”

After the tour, Fowler Packing Company Chief Financial Officer Jim Bates spoke along with Secretary Ross at an event encouraging agricultural donations to food banks at the Community Food Bank in Fresno. In keeping with its own tradition of social responsibility, Fowler Packing led by example and donated a truckload of citrus to Community Food Bank for the event.

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