Aug 1, 2023
Social, environmental efforts highlighted in Wholesum Conscientious Company report

Organic grower Wholesum has released its annual Conscientious Company Report.

Wholesum The report from the Amado, Arizona, grower and shipper of Fair Trade Certified organic fresh vegetables highlights results in four areas for the calendar year 2022: organic integrity, responsible agriculture, Fair Trade impact, and advancement towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals of gender equality and responsible consumption and production.

“Innovation and sustainability go hand in hand,” states Ricardo Crisantes, co-owner and chief commercial officer, said in a news release. “We are constantly seeking and implementing new ways that we can achieve greater impact at our farms.”

In 2022, an expanded integrated pest management program led to the production of 960,000 lady bugs in their in-house production lab, which helps deter pests such as aphids.

Wholesum also launched a new endeavor in organic seed production, producing organic pepper and cucumber seeds in-house on their new organic seed farm.

Additionally, the company partnered with two new growers, contributing 263 acres of organic production and 64,709 labor hours to manual pest control, showcasing their commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly agricultural practices, according to the release.

Wholesum continued its production of 100% organic produce, expanding operations by 6 acres of energy-efficient greenhouses in Sonora, Mexico.

Wholesum has released its annual Conscientious Company Report.

In 2022, Wholesum recirculated 30.2% of irrigation water used in its Arizona farm, an improvement from the 16% that was recirculated in 2021 after implementing a more robust water cleaning system that kills any bacteria but refeeds nutrients to the crops with compost tea for greater biological activity in the plants. The farm grows organic tomatoes on the vine, beefsteak, cocktail, and heirloom tomatoes, bringing US sustainably grown products for local programs.

One of the highlights from 2022 was the installation of new solar panel systems to displace 36% of the energy used at Wholesum’s Nogales distribution center. This number is expected to increase in 2023 as the panels are put to use to the fullest, according to the release.

Wholesum made strides in sustainability by ensuring that 72% of its packaging material in 2022 was renewable. Implementing closed loop systems like RPCs and CHEP pallets extended the life cycle of the remaining 28%.

Looking ahead, the company aims to assess the impact of these initiatives and explore sustainable alternatives for nonrenewable sources, pursuing a greener and more environmentally conscious approach to packaging their produce.

“We are very proud of the work we do and acknowledge areas of opportunity for the future,” Crisantes said in the release. “Responsible agriculture is about how we can grow more produce with less, bringing new efficiencies in our operations so that we can use our resources more mindfully.”

Wholesum grows 100% organic certified tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash and eggplant.

Read more about Wholesum’s efforts here.

Be sure to check out our other specialty agriculture brands