In recognition of the bountiful harvest generated by Arizona’s abundant lettuce industry, Governor Jan Brewer has proclaimed the month of November “Arizona Leafy Greens Month.” The month celebrates the kick-off of Arizona’s leafy greens season, with abundant growth, harvest and shipments of Arizona-grown lettuce throughout the United States and Canada. The season generally commences around mid-November and goes through March.
As the top producer of leafy greens during the winter months, Arizona’s leafy greens industry employs more than 20,000 and generates an estimated $1 billion in financial impacts to the state’s economy. Nearly 90 percent of the leafy greens lettuce consumed in the United States and Canada between the months of November through March is generated from Arizona.
Members of the Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee, a volunteer consortium comprised of 96 percent of Arizona’s shippers and growers, work collaboratively to ensure uniform safe food handling practices are employed throughout the industry. The group represents various leafy greens products grown in Arizona, demonstrating their commitment to maintain safety of lettuces grown in Arizona from field to fork.
The members of Arizona Leafy Greens agree to a rigorous set of standards and practices. Shippers and growers are subject to regular inspections by USDA certified auditors. The Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee can impose sanctions on those who are out of compliance.