Who We Are
Owner Tod Parkinson has been growing fruit most of his life. He's been marketing, selling and bringing farmers together in partnership since 1992. In 1999, Tod began to represent his first organic farmer and his personal conviction and love for organic farming developed as he began to see the need for environmental sustainability as well as digestive health.
Tod’s wife, Traci joined the business in 1994 bringing office and financial management skills from her years in the banking industry. She is just as passionate as Tod about the need for organic farming, and the need to support local farmers as well.
We represent Central Valley Family Farmers who care about the health, welfare, and environment within our local community. We as farmers love what we do, and believe that making money isn't the most important thing. We believe in respecting the need for sustainability and the livelihood of our health, not just for ourselves, but also for our employees, our consumers, and the generations to come.
What We Do
Valliwide Marketing is a company built on relationships. Whether it's our customers, our growers, or our employees, we value people above everything else we do. Our office has an open door policy, where growers are welcome to drop in on a daily basis. Whether it is to share a concern, news from their farm, or life in general.
Customers are also welcome to contact us. We often receive calls asking about how the product tastes or what's especially good, and we always tell them the truth.
We believe in networking resources with other farmers. We continually work to make our office was a fun place to be, while providing employees with good benefits.
Valliwide Marketing Inc. History:
Owner Tod Parkinson began his own stone fruit marketing company, with a friend back in 1992, under a partnership then called Valley Pride Marketing. With years of farming experience gained while working for and learning from his brother, Ty Parkinson of Parkinson Farms as well as gaining his fruit sales experience through an opportunity with Golden Valley Fruit the time was right to venture out. Many of us living in the central valley of California grew up working in the Farming or Production side of the Fruit Industry, picking, packing, grading, stamping and stacking boxes for family farmers like those we were now representing. Tod’s wife, Traci joined the business in 1994 bringing office and financial management skills from her years in the banking industry.
There was something special about the small group of Family Farmers within our program growing conventional produce. Many were generational family farmers living on the land they were farming became concerned with overuse of toxic chemicals and were seeking alternative methods to farm. They began using integrated pest management or IPM, as a means to solve pest problems while minimizing risk to people and the environment. These farmers were still packing their product with bloom on it, out of the buckets picked in, they did not wash or wax and many still packed in a wood box. For some, their farm workers were a part of the Family Farm helping unauthorized workers to begin the process of legalization made sense, their health and welfare were important. These farmers love farming, making money wasn’t the most important thing, and it needed to be sustainable because it was their life. They were different and this was our Niche.
We, the Marketing Staff were different as well. Relationships were important, our office had an open door policy, and Growers were in and out daily, sharing concerns and stories as well as bringing samples of prized or possible new varieties. Growers referred other growers. Customers called asking how the product tasted, what looked good, and we told them the truth. We introduced their quality control staff to other shippers who had what we didn’t; they used our office as a hub to communicate with their main office. Our office was a fun place to be, we offered our employee’s a good job with good benefits and flexibility to take time off to enjoy their family and life, they in return worked hard for us, our customers and our growers. These are values we hold onto today. Back then we sold conventionally nearly fifty percent as commission merchants (handling grower fruit) while brokering the other fifty percent (outsourcing product from other companies). We always acted as brokers when trading organic product but all that changed in 1999, when we became a sales agent for our first organic label “Kaweah”. We now had organic product grown by Richard (Dick) Kauffman of Kaweah Farms in Kingsburg and with the support of one very special customer a new era began.
In 2002, the partnership dissolved, and we began our new company Valliwide Marketing Inc. Our staff, usually consisted of our children or close family friends, it still does. Tod’s son Mason and daughter Ashley along with Bill Schene make up our office family. Mason and Bill head up our sales department, while Ashley keeps our office running. We have continued to maintain our Niche, broadening our customer base with the addition of organic product and developing new growers, while encouraging our small family farmers to transition to growing organically. This transition occurred at the same time industry changes began to appear, the conventional market began to become difficult for the small Family Farmer as large corporate conglomerates formed. Fortunately, our customers were aware of the alternative manner our small Family Farmers were growing their product, we had infiltrated the organic market and the organic food trend was well underway, making 2007 the year to transition. We became a fully organic sales company in 2010 as our growers survived the difficult transition period to become fully organic certified growers. Our growers know how to grow fruit; they have been doing it for generations. It’s the type of fruit you can pick from the tree, hand to your child and watch the juice drip down their smiling face. The history behind farming this way is important, preserving it is just as important.
In late 2010, DB Harris made the difficult decision to retire from farming the 100 acre organic family farm he had been farming along the Kings River for thirty years. It was his father’s farm. Dave grew up there, so did his children and now his grandchildren get to enjoy it. The Harris family gave us the opportunity to develop an Organic Farming Operation through leasing us the farm. We don’t want to become large corporate farmers; we want to maintain the value of family farming. Tod no longer sells produce, he is growing again. Tod brought in his son-in-law Carlos to help run the farm. Tod’s grandchildren can be seen running around the farm. Dave and his family still live on the farm.
It takes a lot to make and maintain business success, for us the key to our success has been our relationships. Relationships survive through trust, our growers trust that we will make the right decisions for their livelihood, our staff trusts we will care for them and the sustainability of our business, our customers trust our word as it is the foundation of our partnership, our trading partners trust our integrity without it we can no longer trade.