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Westmoreland-TopLine Farms adds 25 acres of high-tech greenhouses

The family-owned Westmoreland-TopLine Farms in Leamington, ON, regularly offers beefsteak, cluster and Roma tomatoes, seedless cucumbers and mini seedless cucumbers and Bell peppers. There’s also plenty of specialty items, with products like baby eggplant, grape, cherry, cocktail, chocolate, heirloom and long, red San Marzano styles Roma tomatoes, cocktail snacking cucumbers and mini sweet peppers.

Additionally, the greenhouses boast a strong organics section, which includes organic cluster, beefsteak and grape tomatoes, organic seedless cucumbers, organic mini cucumbers, organic mini peppers and organic peppers.

“We’re a Canadian producer and shipper and also have a significant program out of Mexico with grower-partners in the country, and also have one farm in the U.S. (Punxsutawney, PA), which produces long English seedless cucumbers,” said Dino DiLaudo, vice president of sales for the company.

IMG 2532Westmoreland-TopLine Farms regularly offers beefsteak, cluster and Roma tomatoes, seedless cucumbers and mini seedless cucumbers and Bell peppers, as well as plenty of specialty items.“The greenhouse industry has been growing for many years now thanks to a superior quality over a lot of conventional products.”

Therefore, success for Westmoreland-TopLine Farms has come from being able to offer a higher quality and more consistent and reliable supply of products 12 months out of the year.

“We do have a small gap in December and January for tomatoes, but we are 12-month supply on seedless, long English and the mini-seedless cucumbers,” DiLaudo said. “Overall, that has helped us continue to grow. We have good strong quality and strong service.”

The company also prides itself on having very tight food-safety controls and traceability.

DiLaudo feels there’s no stricter food-safety program in the produce industry than for greenhouse growers, and he credits that with helping the business grow.

“We are able to monitor almost every element of the process and track stuff right back to the row it was harvested and the date it was harvested,” he said. “We can really refine our food safety down to a precise science to where the product came from and who the grower was.”

Over the last year, Westmoreland-TopLine Farms has seen some shortages in supplies at different times during winter months because of cold weather, but DiLaudo said there are always challenges to overcome and the company is well positioned to get ahead of any problems and remain successful.

“We have seen a strong market this winter for basically all commodities,” he said. “There’s a weakening market on some of the tomatoes right now, but overall I would say the winter production season has been strong.”

Since starting to grow organics four years ago, Westmoreland-TopLine Farms has been increasing its organic offerings every year.

“We’ve been seeing more and more demand so we’ve been increasing our tomato and pepper offerings,” DiLaudo said. “It’s still a small percentage when it comes down to our total shipment, but it’s been a welcome growth area for our industry.”

Other opportunities for growth come from high-flavor items such as snacking tomatoes and cucumbers.

“People are choosing healthier snacks and these are very conducive to lunchboxes for children,” DiLaudo said. “We’re finding that grape tomatoes, mini sweet peppers and mini seedless cruncher cucumbers are all growing in popularity as they replace other snacks.”

Westmoreland-TopLine Farms tries to stay on the cutting edge of innovation and has recently added another 25 acres of high-tech, state-of-the-art greenhouses, which will come into production this spring for the first time.

“We try to stay relevant and be innovators when it comes to new varieties and new packaging when it comes available,” DiLaudo said. “We’re expanding our Roma tomato offerings, which is fairly new for us. We’ve seen some demand for it and success, so we will continue to expand those items and think it has great potential.”

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