Sakata, of Sakata Farms Inc. in Brighton, Colorado, has been in the produce industry for over 70 years.
Sakata cited what he feels are three of NOA’s biggest accomplishments. ‘First was getting onions off of the Chicago Board of Trade. Second was when we started the voluntary assessment for promotion. Third is NOA being a watchdog for legislation. This is especially important now as they are determining regulations relating to Food Safety.’
Sakata remembered going to his first NOA meeting in 1956. ‘I made every effort to go to as many meetings as I could after that. And with the small budget that NOA has, it’s amazing what we have accomplished.’
One of the greatest contributions of NOA, he stressed, is ‘the relationships we have established by getting to know the growers through the country and the world—and increased communication throughout the industry. Communication helps exercise integrity and honesty. It is very beneficial to be able to have the camaraderie, not only with other producers, but with brokers, transportation people, suppliers, and other buyers. The relationships we have built have determined the destiny of this industry.'”