Markon Cooperative is Redefining Fresh Produce, Focuses on Growth and Resilience

December 22, 2021

Markon is Well Positioned to Meet an Increasing Demand for Fresh Produce in 2022

Salinas, California – Dec. 21, 2021 – After nearly two years of weathering the effects of COVID-19 in the foodservice industry, Markon has recommitted leadership in culinary innovation, inspiration, and creativity for everything produce, all backed by outstanding food safety and high-quality products.

When the pandemic became a reality in March 2020, many foodservice operators reduced capacity and cut back on orders, staff, and unfortunately some closed their doors for good. Markon and its members (Ben E. Keith Foods, Gordon Food Service, Gordon Food Service Canada, Nicholas & Company, and Shamrock Foods) reinvested in its people and products to redefine providing the freshest produce available for foodservice operators. This past year saw these investments toward creating more value for foodservice customers come to fruition through many notable achievements, including the hiring of notable industry veterans to key leadership roles, a new digital brand, introduction of a new product, along with increased emphasis on the labor-saving Ready-Set-Serve product line.

“Markon has earned a well-established reputation of innovation, resilience, and food safety leadership throughout its 36-year history,” said Andy Hamilton, Markon’s Chief Executive Officer. “We took advantage of 2021 as the year to refresh ourselves and what it means to us to provide the highest-quality farm-to-table fresh produce in the market.”

A Look Back at Markon’s 2021 Highlights

  • Markon hired a number of industry veterans and notables into key leadership roles, including Kattia Clavijo in Human Resources, Kate Burr as Food Safety Director and Cynthia Murphy as Vice President of Finance. In total, Markon hired 20 new people in 2021.
  • Markon launched a new website to bring to life its updated digital brand. The new website features a clean, modern design and provides the latest recipes, culinary trends, tools, and resources.
  • Continuing on the branding side, Markon also gave itself a brand identify refresh for all of its print pieces to better highlight the journey of its products from field to fork.
  • Markon launched Markon First Crop (MFC) Trimmed Leeks this fall to better meet the demand from foodservice operators to create produce products that streamline kitchen prep and minimize waste.
  • This past summer, Markon welcomed back more than 200 customers, chefs, and foodservice operators to experience in-person events, such as field and supplier tours and the Sixth Annual Chef Summit.
  • This year’s Chef Summit also saw the inaugural Taste of Markon where Markon’s member and operator chefs came together to prepare a five-course, produce-centric dinner. The fundraising event raised more than $11,000 for the Rancho Cielo Drummond Culinary Academy.

“At the heart of Markon is our team of great people and our members dedicated to making a difference not only in the produce industry but throughout all of foodservice,” added

Hamilton. “We are well-positioned to meet the increasing demand and desire for our produce going into 2022 by offering innovative products and top-notch food safety that allow chefs to focus on creating the delicious and healthy food options their customers want.”

About Markon

Markon Cooperative, Inc. brings a fresh approach and thinking to all of its premium farm-to-table produce so foodservice operators can offer the freshest ideas to their consumers. Based in Salinas, California, Markon serves as the produce purchasing, food safety, Boots in the field (QA), logistics, information, and marketing partner for its five member distributors (Ben E. Keith Foods, Gordon Food Service, Gordon Food Service Canada, Nicholas & Company, and Shamrock Foods) and their North American foodservice customers. Learn more about Markon’s commitment to providing the highest-quality, safest, and freshest produce at Markon.com.