The idea of having a Ventura County Food Safety group started in 2015 with Tomas Gonzalez and Laura Miller. They noticed that there were very little food safety resources and training’s available in the county and professionals in the industry had to travel to the San Joaquin, Santa Maria or Salinas Valleys to attend these events. While speaking to Jose Luis Gomez Carrasco, a science expert out of Oxnard, Tomas and Laura made the decision to gather some local industry representatives to discuss this idea. In May of 2016, with the help of AGQ and Jose Luis, the first unofficial meeting was held. Shortly after this meeting, in June of 2016, another meeting was held and officers were elected. Unofficial meetings continued as awareness gathered momentum. In September of 2016, the non-profit corporation was formed.
As word around the county grew, so did enthusiasm and attendance. The association soon needed a larger space to gather as attendance numbers were in the 70’s. Speakers were lining up to present to this group, official training’s were planned and membership dues were established. To date, June of 2020, the association continues to grow, with over 40 different produce packers, processors, distributors, vendors, labs and cooling companies within the county in attendance. Growers are starting to express interest, allowing the association to expand its reach. Food Safety professionals in Ventura County are coming together as a team sharing knowledge and strategies as any recall or food borne illness affects the entire industry. Ventura County is making it known that truly, “Food Safety Has No Competition”!