California Strawberry Commission New Industry Portal

The Client

California strawberry farmers have a century-long history of working together. Since 1956, strawberry farmers have worked together via the California Strawberry Advisory Board, which was amended in 1993 to the California Strawberry Commission. The California Strawberry Commission represents more than 400 strawberry growers, shippers, and processors, proudly working together to advance strawberry farming for the future of the land and people. Commission programs create opportunities for success through ground-breaking programs focused on workforce training, strawberry production research, and nutrition research. Through science-based information and education, the Commission delivers good news about sustainable farming practices that benefit the health of people, farms, and communities.

The Challenge

When the California Strawberry Commission first engaged the EUM team, they were looking to build a portal that would help them to better engage with their growers, shippers, processors, and other parties. Already users of Microsoft 365 and Azure AD, they required a solution that would leverage their existing infrastructure and readily integrate with their systems such as SharePoint Online and Dynamics 365. They needed to share information such as research and insights that were not available to the public on their site and offer up reports and news to specific audience groups.

The Solution

The industry portal itself is built on Extranet Publisher, a platform that enables Administrators to easily add and test content before publishing it to public and member pages. Extranet User Manager allows users to self-register and gain access to the fully branded SharePoint communications site. Users provide their information and identify which industry type they fall into, with Growers further identifying the county that their farm is located in. Users who identify as Growers, Shippers, or Processors go through an approval process, with Commission staff validating their organization status as members.

CSC Portal

Users can register with a Microsoft 365 or Google email account, which passes their account credentials and allows them to use their existing account password. Users without a Microsoft or Google email can request a one-time passcode that gets emailed to them to verify that they are indeed the account owner. Either way, new users do not need to remember yet another username and password, and administrators don’t need to manage a forgotten password process. Once signed in, users are redirected to a filtered landing page for their industry group. Members can now access Commission resources and services that are available to their specific industry groups; Health Professionals are provided with information around the health benefits of strawberries; Retailers receive various useful reports; and those responsible for Public Policy gain access to specific content that has a bearing on public impact. If approval is required based on their industry type, a Logic App workflow gets kicked off to send a notification to approvers.

CSC Registration

An upgrade to EUM V6 brought with it an immediate set of new benefits to the Commission. When the portal first launched, only a couple of hundred external users were accessing it. This has jumped drastically to over 1,700 users, with new members registering daily. The inclusion of a one-time passcode for registration has simplified the onboarding experience and encouraged more users to join.

Administrators benefit from a separate landing Admin console that is very user-friendly and easy for them to find and manage users and their groups. It provides useful analytics so that Administrators can drill down and understand how the portal is being used. A Power BI report allows staff to easily analyze user logins based on industry type and date of last login. They can troubleshoot user activity and are alerted if users register with an invalid email address.

The Results

The new industry portal is a powerful tool for the California Strawberry Commission to communicate with members and partners. Ensuring simplicity is a key factor in its success – both for the end user and the support staff. A simplified registration and login experience has helped drive up usage and enables the Commission to broaden its reach. Maintaining a platform that is easy to manage is equally important, and ongoing enhancements to functionality will ensure that the Portal continues to grow and provide more benefit.


"EUM has integrated with our in-house solutions, allowing us to publish content securely and easily to various intended audiences. Envision IT’s excellent technical support worked with our team to implement customizations to further refine the portal and related applications to meet our specific needs."