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Western Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (WTAAC)

Success Stories

Carrot Grower, Packer & Processor, California

This Firm is a vertically integrated company which grows, packs, processes and
distributes carrots and peppers to broker/distributors, wholesalers, retailers and juice
processors nationwide. The company also packs, processes and sells carrots and
peppers for independent growers.

In the early 1990’s the company added new “ready-to-eat” processed peeled “Baby
Whole” carrots. The company achieved limited success marketing and selling its
products up until 1996. However, beginning in 1997 increasing price competition
from foreign competitors impacted its higher margin process carrot sales. In 1998
processes sales decreased 11% and employment during the first quarter of 1998
declined 7%.

The company, with assistance from the University of Southern California’s Western
Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (Western TAAC) became certified as trade
impacted by the US Dept. of Commerce, Economic Development Administration
(EDA) in June of 1999.

Western TAAC and the company’s management developed a strategy to focus on
growth opportunities with regional grocery chains and wholesalers not being
adequately serviced by the US predominate carrot suppliers. The implementation of
this strategy allowed the company to capitalize on its high quality California grown
carrot products and differentiate itself with year-round supply and superior service to
this customer base. The company could position itself between the much larger,
better-capitalized, market leaders and the smaller regional and foreign import carrot
suppliers who rely predominately on seasonal low price competition.

In October 1999 the company began participation in the Post Approval phase of the
TAA program. Over a three year period, Western TAAC and the company’s
management implement four production engineering projects that were key factors in
expanding processed carrot production and waste water treatment capacity.

Three years after program completion, the results are remarkable. These projects
along with other strategy implementation led to outstanding growth and stability for
the firm. As a result, in the six years since the firm began working with the Trade
Adjustment Assistance for Firms program, sales increased 121% to$28.9M,
employment increased 40% to 466, profitability doubled, and productivity improved
57% to $62,057 sales per employee.



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