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‘Wholesum Harvest’-branded organic products the result of growing diversity

Wholesum Family Farms Inc., better known as Wholesum Harvest, in Nogales, AZ, is a third-generation family farm that has grown safe, wholesome food for 80 years. The family pioneer, Miguel Crisantes Gatzionis, migrated from Greece to Mexico in the 1920s and started farming in Sinaloa, Mexico, in 1930.

Anthony Totta, marketing and business development consultant for the company, told The Produce News that the grower-shipper has handled organic items since 1990.

“Our primary products are greenhouse grown tomatoes, peppers and seedless cucumbers,” said Mr. Totta. “In shadehouses we grow organic hard and soft squashes, pole cucumbers and eggplant. And we produce organic mangos.”

Wholesum Harvest is currently promoting beefsteak, cherry cluster and Roma cluster tomatoes and tomatoes on the vine, which are year-round items for the company. Its organic products are produced in Mexico and in Peru.

“Our newest addition to our lineup are ‘Wholesum Harvest’ branded tomatoes,” said Mr. Totta. “Despite the economy, our sales are strong and growing as the demand for quality organics is upward. The organic industry is growing as well, but the pace slowed somewhat last year.”

Mr. Totta added that Wholesum Harvest is committed to the development of collaborative innovative trading with supply chain partners.

“In other words, we are working hand-in-hand with our partners to create efficiencies that will optimize sustainability efforts, improve profits and provide safe superior quality fruits and vegetables to the consumer,” he said. “Our facilities have been updated with high efficiency lighting, and our offices have been expanded and remodeled. We have also implemented business-to-business and business-to-consumer social media communications.”

He said the company is building new greenhouses in Arizona. This year it added a new office in Watsonville, CA, which is operated by Cherie Galper, the firm’s latest addition to its professional sales team.

The locally grown movement, Mr. Totta feels, is helping the organics category, but he added, “The volume of organic local grown in our commodities is relevant. Local farm supplies are limited to their season while we have the ability to supply year round product.”

Wholesum Harvest’s primary customers are large chain retailers, distributors, wholesalers and small chain operators, respectively. The company ships nationwide under the “Wholesum Harvest” brand. Mr. Totta said that everything the company sells is 100 percent certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Program. Regular assessments of its farms are conducted by a San Diego-based inspection agency to verify that it is always fulfilling its certified organic standards.

The company harvests organic vegetables from diverse regions, from greenhouses in northern Mexico’s high Sonora Desert to southern sea-level production at La Cruz, Mexico. The diverse geography and climates it grows in enables the company to offer seasonal organic produce year round. It also partners with Mexican and Peruvian fruit growers for a long season of organic mangos.

The company recently launched a new web site, www.wholesumharvest.com.

“Within the last year we changed our company name from Cris-P to Wholesum Family Farms, and our product brand name changed from ‘Natura’ to ‘Wholesum Harvest,’ “ Mr. Totta added.