Organic certified produce grower and distributor Wholesum Harvest is in the process of burning all the plants inside one of its greenhouses after they were infected with Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV). The plants in the Amado, AZ greenhouse were imported from Mexico. ToBRFV can cause severe fruit loss and destroying the plants as well as disinfecting the facility is the only way to get rid of it. The virus can spread easily to other tomato growing regions as it is stable outside the plant and can be transmitted between plants on contaminated tools, clothes, or hands. In the past it has been detected in tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants.
“ToBRFV is a virus that affects the quality and production potential of tomatoes and other crops,” says Ricardo Crisantes, Chief Commercial Officer of Wholesum. “We detected the virus early and it only affected a small fraction of the crop acreage, none of which were in commercial production.” While the virus is harmless to humans, no affected product went out to the public.
“We want to ensure peace of mind for our stakeholders. The team at Wholesum Farms Arizona has been diligently working with the corresponding authorities to ensure proper containment and removal of the virus as well as the appropriate follow-ups. We are proud of our teams for handling this effectively and expect to have production back in 8 weeks,” Crisantes commented.