Transportation planning analyst Lupe Lara-Fernández and procurement analyst Greg O’Hara joined the Agribusiness Club virtual guest speaker series to share their experiences working for the berry company Driscoll’s on April 12.
Lara-Fernández and O’Hara both received their bachelor’s degrees in business administration with an agribusiness concentration at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB).
The CSUMB graduates walked students through industry opportunities and establishment operations.
Driscoll’s is the top berry business globally. The company was founded in the 1950s and has been delivering sweeter and higher quality strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries from the start.
Lara-Fernández examines temperature control, truck transportation, and collaboration with retailers like Costco and Walmart.
Planning the loading process is 50% of the business. Managing product delivery and route mapping to regions in the United States, Canada, and Mexico is a core responsibility for Lara-Fernández.
Applications are open, and Lara-Fernández recommends Driscoll’s internship program for students looking to find a career in the industry.
O’Hara directed the second half of the presentation, walking attendees through his role in packaging, managing, and maintaining the product.
Procurement analysis is a data-driven job, and supporting Driscoll’s direct materials team involves reviewing information and providing valuable statistics.
O’Hara credits independent family farms and selective breeding with supporting Driscoll’s success in minimizing water usage and avoiding genetic modification.
“Our growers take every opportunity to work with nature,” O’Hara said. “Using the minimum amount of agricultural inputs.”
The company emphasizes blackberry sweetness in the distribution process, contrasting with ordinary berries’ tart and sour taste. That unique flavor is a defining characteristic of Driscoll’s products.
Long-term grower partnerships make this company unique. O’Hara calls it a symbiotic relationship, benefiting both independent workers and the business.
Because Driscoll’s can rely on farmers for production, they can allocate resources toward research that enhances product appearance and taste, aiding the establishment in thriving against competitors.
Lara-Fernández and O’Hara concluded the discussion by reminding students to update their resumes, research relevant internship positions, and attend events to network within the industry.
For more on the world of agribusiness, join the club and Hospitality Director Paige Viren for the next addition in the virtual guest speaker series on April 26.