Watercress is one of the oldest leafy greens on the planet. B&W Quality Growers, the world’s largest commercial grower of this distinctive baby leaf, is celebrating 150 years of business in 2020.
That history of success starts with a strategy of following the sun. With operations in Fellsmere, Florida, and across seven other states, the company grows its produce in a seasonal rotation that takes advantage of prime growing conditions for watercress, arugula, and their Power 4 product – a blend of watercress, arugula, baby spinach, and baby red leaf kale.
“There are many advantages to this growing strategy,” says Todd Gosule, B&W’s vice president of sales and marketing. “It allows us to grow products where they are always in season and at their peak of freshness and flavor. Plus, it lets our farms recharge naturally, laying fallow half the year. We also use sophisticated water recirculation systems that help replenish the water table and save valuable resources. Environmental stewardship is a priority for us.”
Education & Partnerships
So is educating consumers about the benefits of their products. “B&W Growers is proud to partner with Chef Ming Tsai and various chefs throughout the country to create new and delicious ways for the public to enjoy our flavorful, versatile and nutritious products,” says Nikki Hartman, B&W’s marketing manager.
In addition to quality products, sustainability and consumer education, B&W Growers has earned a reputation as a strong community partner. It supports Family Reach, an organization that provides financial support for cancer patients and their families, as well
as Big Dog Ranch Rescue, a no-kill dog rescue in Loxahatchee Groves.
Chris Denmark, development representative supervisor with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), says B&W’s partnerships extend to Florida’s agriculture industry at large.
“B&W has been an important partner in the Fresh From Florida program for nearly 20 years. They’ve also been a perennial exhibitor at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit, which is the statewide collaboration of Florida agribusinesses that brings together all Fresh From Florida members to promote the state’s produce industry. They help to bring in a high-caliber customer base that benefits all our exhibitors.”
It’s work B&W is happy to support. “We try to do the right thing every day for our customers, our communities, our employees and the environment,” Gosule says.
For B&W, it’s been a recipe for success for 150 years.