Phoenix-based Marson Media has signed on to develop a strategic communications plan for Fondomonte, owner of an alfalfa farm in Arizona that is a big drain on the state's dwindling water supply.
Fondomonte is part of Almarai, which bills itself as the world’s largest vertically integrated dairy company. The Saudi Investment Fund owns a 16 percent stake in Almarai.
The Butler Valley farm pumps an unlimited amount of groundwater, free of charge, to irrigate its water-thirsty alfalfa crop, which is then shipped to Saudi Arabia to feed dairy cows. Saudi Arabia banned alfalfa farms in 2018 in a bid to preserve its water resources.
Arizona governor Katie Hobbs this month said the state will not renew Fondomonte’s lease when it expires in February.
Marson Media’s six-month contract, which went into effect Aug. 4, is worth $11,500 a month.
It calls for development of talking points, coordination with Fondomonte “on how or even whether to respond to media,” creation of media opportunities that counter the negative narrative faced by Fondomonte, and work to ensure that the leases currently held by Fondomonte remain intact.
Prior to launching his firm in 2012, Barrett Marson worked as a journalist and handled communications for the Arizona House of Representatives and Dept. of Corrections.