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Wholesum greenhouse expansion to bring 3.5 million pounds of organic tomato

Wholesum has added six acres of 100 percent organic tomato production to its existing 18-acre facility. The new greenhouse will hold the latest technology for innovative and sustainable production, which is at the core of Wholesum’s social and environmental commitments. The expansion will also bolster Wholesum’s commitment to Fair Trade and the worker communities they support.wholesum amado-28

With the first harvest anticipated in November of 2019, the new greenhouse will bring a projected 3.5 million additional pounds of U.S.-grown organic tomato on the vine and beefsteak to market per year. Following the expansion, 100 percent of Wholesum’s beefsteak will be U.S.-grown, meeting consumer demand for U.S. tomatoes.

The Crisantes family, owner of Wholesum, opted for an Ultra-Clima concept greenhouse. The system comes with an efficient heating and cooling system allowing total control of climate conditions for optimal plant photosynthesis, along with energy efficient fans and the infrastructure to recirculate irrigation water. An advanced air pressure system also aids with food safety and pest control. The implementation of a brand new full-vision system with infrared sensors to monitor plant growth will also provide deep insight into the conditions where organic varieties thrive.

“This expansion is very exciting for us at Wholesum. It keeps with our vision of creating an impact in the organic food industry through sustainable business model that cares about its workers,” said Ricardo Crisantes, chief commercial officer of Wholesum. The new greenhouse will add 25 openings of year-round employment to the farm. These employees will also benefit from community development funds generated from the sales of the Fair Trade Certified produce. “We focus on social and environmental responsibility in every aspect of our operations and this greenhouse is a reflection of those efforts,” he added.

The expansion concluded phase II of Wholesum’s multi-phased growth strategy. The first phase of construction of Wholesum Farms Arizona began in 2011 as a 12-acre facility housing organic beefsteak and TOV, bringing 60 jobs to the Santa Cruz County. The first part of phase II construction took place in 2014, leaving the facility as an 18-acre operation with the second part of construction set to continue in the summer of 2019. Third and fourth construction phases are in the works for the future.