Dec 21, 2021
Wholesum opens new organic tomato greenhouses in Sonora, Mexico
Wholesum, Fair Trade certified growers and shippers of organic fresh produce, cut the ribbon to their newest state-of-the-art organic tomato greenhouses in Sonora, Mexico.
The ceremony took place on Thursday, December 9 in Imuris, Sonora, Mexico and was attended by company associates, vendors, and industry partners, according to a news release from the company. The theme of the event was “A Plentiful Harvest” highlighting the company’s expanding supply for customers, increasing variety for consumers, plentiful opportunities for workers and growing impact for the community.
To deliver on Wholesum’s promise of fresh, flavorful and responsibly grown produce, the company added 12 acres of all-glass greenhouses to the existing 50-acre operation, according to the news release. The new greenhouses hold the latest technology for innovative and sustainable production, which is at the core of Wholesum’s social and environmental commitments. The infrastructure maximizes the use of natural resources with irrigation and filtration systems that allow for the recirculation of irrigation water, a state-of-the-art climate control system with energy-efficient fans, and an advanced air pressure system that also aids with food safety and pest control. Altogether, the greenhouses are equipped to create the optimal growing conditions for organic tomatoes.
“We are seeing the consumer landscape shift in favor of value-driven companies and are experiencing a growing demand for responsibly-grown organic produce,” Ricardo Crisantes, Chief Commercial Officer and third-generation co-owner, said in a news release. “With this addition, we are confident that Wholesum is in the position to deliver.”
With staggered planting schedules, the first harvest of organic tomatoes on the vine from the new facilities took place in early November. A second influx of new product will take place mid-January, 2022, bringing in more specialty varieties including organic high-flavor cherry tomatoes. Together, the new greenhouses will bring a projected 6.5 million additional pounds of organic tomato for the coming year to meet the growing consumer demand.
In addition to more product, the new greenhouses will add 60 openings of year-round employment to the farm, according to the release. These employees will also benefit from Community Development Funds generated from the sales of Wholesum Fair Trade Certified produce. Since the inception of the fair trade program, Wholesum has raised over 6 million dollars in Fair Trade Community Development Funds used towards projects that help build community infrastructure and improve access to education, housing, nutrition and health services.
Wholesum is a third-generation family farming operation with farms in Arizona and Mexico. In the emotive speeches that took place during the ceremony, the company’s owners reflected on Wholesum’s history and the significance of this expansion.
“The farms here have played an integral role in living out our purpose … [of] nourishing a healthy world and providing consumers with fresh organic produce that is grown the right way,” Ricardo said in the release. “Sonora gave us an opportunity to develop this company from seasonal harvests to harvesting 12 months out of the year. It gave us wonderful climate, beautiful sunlight and exceptional people who have become a part of our team.”
Theojary Crisantes Sr., Board Chair and second-generation owner also spoke at the event.
“This expansion keeps with our early vision of creating an impact in the organic food industry,” he said. He then thanked the hard-working associates who contributed to the project stating how it is “a result of Wholesum’s wonderful workforce who subscribes to and lives out Wholesum’s values that we can bring to fruition A Plentiful Harvest.”
A video titled “A Contribution from the Third Generation” was played at the event: