Wholesum has announced their greenhouse expansion, adding six acres of 100 percent organic tomato production to the existing 18-acre facility. Wholesum said the new greenhouse will hold the latest technology for innovative and sustainable production. The expansion will also bolster their commitment to Fair Trade and the worker communities they support, the company added.
With the first harvest anticipated in November of 2019, the new greenhouse will bring a projected 3.5 million additional pounds of US organic tomato on the vine and beefsteak to market per year. Following the expansion, Wholesum says 100 percent of its beefsteak will be US grown.
The Crisantes family, owners of Wholesum, opted for an Ultra-Clima concept greenhouse. The system comes with an efficient heating and cooling system along with energy efficient fans and the infrastructure to recirculate irrigation water. It will also have a new full-vision system with infrared sensors to monitor plant growth which the company hopes 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,” states Ricardo Crisantes, Chief Commercial Officer of Wholesum. The new greenhouse will add 25 openings of year-round employment to the farm. The company said 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.”
This expansion concludes 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. 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.