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Desert Farms announces launch of organic green asparagus line

Desert Farms has announced it will launch an organic green asparagus product for the upcoming season. The Californian/Mexican based asparagus grower will grow the new product line alongside their existing operations in the Sonora region in Mexico and the harvest is expected to last between January and April next year. 

Bram Hulshoff, of Desert Farms, said the company is excited to be expanding their product range. "We wanted to diversify our products and be on as many shelves as possible. From our conventional products, the next logical step was to expand into organic," said Hulshoff. "During their harvest in January through April 2018, the new fields located in Caborca, Sonora (Mexico) will go into production. This will expand our operations to a total of 1565 hectares, 10 percent of which will be organic."

Company well prepared
Desert Farms established the organic fields last year and have been preparing the soil and seed growth for optimal conditions in an organically certified environment. "The project started last year (2016) with the preparation of the soil and the planting of the seeds. This year will be the first harvest of their USDA certified fresh green asparagus," said Hulshoff.

"It's our first year in production and it will be trial year," he continued. "We are hoping that the higher price the product will attract will cover the additional costs associated with such a crop. We predict a large increase in field labor costs, as well as the cost increase of the organic products applied to the fields. Apart from that, we had to invest in separate machinery, equipment, and new storage facilities, as we are not allowed to use the same for organic and conventional. Additionally, we don't know yet how much of a decrease in output we will have as we are using new and more expensive formulas against the conventional way of working. It will be a learning opportunity and we are sure to refine it after the first production year."

Committed to environmentally friendly methods
Hulshoff said that the company was well poised to launch an organic crop as Desert Farms has already followed many of the guidelines associated with organic certification. "We were ready to go organic and continue to expand the company's goals to be a socially responsible grower," Hulshoff said. "For the last 14 years, we have had a Pesticide Residue Free certification issued by SCS. In addition, we have followed farming practices that are closer in line with organic farms. For example, we have utilized the use of beneficial insects for the last 15 years as well as careful use of different fertilizers. Therefore, we were ready for this next step."

Desert Farms will be exhibiting at the PMA Fresh Summit as part of the Mexico Pavilion.

For more information: 
Bram Hulshoff
Desert Farms
Tel: +1 (209) 221-4704

Publication date: 9/21/2017
Author: Dennis M. Rettke
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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