Wholesum, Fair Trade certified growers, and shippers of organic fresh produce, cut the ribbon to their newest organic tomato greenhouses in Sonora, MX. The ceremony took place on December 9th in Imuris, Sonora, Mexico, and was attended by company associates, vendors, and industry partners. 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 on the community.
"To deliver on our promise of fresh, flavorful, and responsibly grown produce, we have added 12 acres of all-glass greenhouses to the existing 50-acre operation. The new greenhouses hold the latest technology for sustainable production, which is at the core of our 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 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," says Ricardo Crisantes, Chief Commercial Officer and third-generation co-owner.
“We are seeing the consumer landscape shift in favor of value-driven companies and are experiencing a growing demand for responsibly-grown organic produce,” he continues, “and 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 products will take place in 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 products, the new greenhouses will add 60 openings of year-round employment to the farm. 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 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,” stated Ricardo. “Sonora gave us an opportunity to develop this company from seasonal harvests to harvesting 12 months out of the year. It gave us a 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 proudly spoke at the event: “This expansion keeps with our early vision of creating an impact in the organic food industry,” he stated. He then thanked the hard-working associates who contributed to the project, stating how it is “a result of Wholesum’s wonderful workforce who subscribe to and live out Wholesum’s values, so that we can bring to fruition 'A Plentiful Harvest'.”
A video titled 'A Contribution from the Third Generation' that was played at the event is available here.