Tri-Valley Growers

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Turlock Cooperative Growers, California Cooperative Canneries, S&W Fine Foods, California Canners and Growers, Aron Canning Company, Morpak Preserving Company

CT Supply Company

Tri-Valley Growers was a California-based canner that operated from the mid-1930's through 2000. The company was formed by George Pfarr, a peach orchardist as a grower co-operative starting with 89 grower members. Pfarr kick-started the new company's plants by buying the Armour-affiliated California Cooperative Canneries plants in Visalia, Modesto, and San Jose. In 1956, the company acquired the Aron Canning Company in Stockton to get into the tomato paste market, and the next year acquired Morpak Preserving Company in 1958[1].

Tri-Valley Packing merged with Turlock Cooperative Growers in 1963 to form Tri-Valley Growers.

To cut costs[2], Tri-Valley formed a joint venture with another California fruit and vegetable cooperative, California Canners and Growers, to share the costs of can production. The merged can-maker was CT Supply Company, with headquarters in Fremont, California. (The joint venture latter changed its name to Tri-Valley Container Corporation.) A new cannery in Modesto also served to cut costs. Tri-Valley slowly moved canning lines from San Jose to Modesto to cut costs from sewer use and be closer to farms.

As the canning industry faded, Tri-Valley responded with further mergers, purchasing two Turlock canneries owned by the Joan of Arc Company, and S&W Fine Foods in 1978. In 1983, Tri-Valley bought California Canners and Growers. By the mid-1980's Tri-Valley had one Modesto plant for tomatoes and two for peaches, apricots and other fruit[3].

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Tri-Valley collapsed in mid-2000's as a result of changing tastes. Prior to bankruptcy, they owned 40% of the fruit processing market in California. Tri-Valley sold the S&W Fine Foods brand to Del Monte in July 2001. The owners of the Beard Industrial District in Modesto, site of their cannery, were still annoyed in 2011 how badly the company messed things up. A University of California post-mortem goes through the reasons for the company's demise.


Location Years Address Details
San Jose 1940 449 E. Taylor Street
San Jose 1962 10th and Taylor

Had refrigerated warehouse.