The Fresh Produce & Floral Council is saddened to learn of the loss of Harland Heath.
Harland was a California native, the fifth of 11 children and a veteran of the Korean War. Harland began his career in the industry at the age of eleven when he started working at his local grocery store. After high school, he worked for Boys Markets, the Alpha Beta Markets group and in 1955 he and six partners opened the first Pantry Market in Pasadena. Harland was the director of produce operations and was responsible for procurement of produce, warehousing, distribution to stores, merchandising, advertising and supervision of personnel. In 1970 he joined the Ed Miller Company, a Los Angeles produce brokerage company. Five years later he moved to William Hooker Company as a produce broker, sales agent, importer and exporter. In 1981 with Patrick Lejeune, he founded the brokerage firm of Heath and Lejeune, which has evolved into a major distributor and service provider to the organic produce industry.
Harland was one of the founding members of the Fresh Produce Council and served as its third president and was a lifetime member of the board of directors. In 2003 Harland was named as honorary past chairman of the Fresh Produce and Floral Council and had a lifetime appointment as past chairman representative.
Harland could always be seen with a smile on his face and a joke ready to be told. The association will miss Harland very much. The Fresh Produce & Floral Council’s staff and board of director’s thoughts are with Harland’s wife, Lois, his three children and six grandchildren.