Tony met us at the ALBA Distribution Center, which was a pretty bleak building. But like the WATCH kids we met the day before, appearances can be deceiving. Tony had some really good insights about the food system, and had some interesting feelings about Driscoll’s, too.
Aliza: “I’m interested about the relationship between you and other corporate distributors, like Driscoll’s.”
Tony: “There is none.”
He later elaborated that he didn’t like how Driscoll’s (who we kind of love because of all the free berries and hats) was running small farmers out of business. Even though the RCD at Driscoll’s thought that they were doing good by employing small farmers and giving them good deals, other small farmers would be run out of business, since the retailers wouldn’t buy the small farmers’ produce (Whole Foods, say).
The dreams of the farmers that ALBA carries on its trucks and strawberries beamed a rosier light on the distribution building as we left. Tony started his little tour by talking about the ALBA system, where strawberries are the byproducts of their actual products: they grow farmers, not produce.