A visit to Pure Flavor®’s Fort Valley, GA greenhouse from US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue this fall is helping fuel enthusiasm & support for the growers second growing season in Georgia. Coming off a successful first year, the company has transitioned all of Phase 1 (25 acres) to be focused exclusively on tomatoes this winter.
“We had a really good first season a year ago with our Georgia crop, customers & consumers alike enjoyed the ability to purchase locally grown vegetables throughout the winter months. Heading in to ‘Season 2’, we are excited to be focused exclusively on tomatoes this year including the addition of our new RedRoyals™ Sweet Cherry Tomatoes on the Vine”, stated Jamie Moracci, President. Pure Flavor®’s Georgia greenhouse is growing the following Tomato products this winter season: Tomatoes on The Vine (TOV), Luna Sweet™ Red Cocktail Tomatoes, Juno Bites™ Red Grape Tomatoes, and RedRoyals™ Sweet Cherry Tomatoes on the Vine.
As the growing season kicked off this fall, the company welcomed US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue for a personal tour of the facility. Perdue, the former two-time Governor of Georgia is originally from Perry, GA, located just 10 miles from the greenhouse.
“This greenhouse is impressive, very impressive. It will enable them to grow locally here and provide fresh vegetables to our Georgia market year-round, this is a good location for them”, said Sonny Perdue, US Secretary of Agriculture. “We are going to see more of this technology across the United States and we are honored that Pure Flavor® selected middle Georgia for their production. The investment and technology that goes in to these facilities is tremendous, these folks have done their homework”, added Perdue.
Pure Flavor® continues to gain momentum in the southeast with not only it’s Georgia Grown tomatoes but with all of its greenhouse grown vegetables from farms throughout North America thanks to the company’s new 60,000 square foot distribution center in Byron, GA.
“We continue to expand our reach across the southeast and now have the opportunity to provide a larger assortment of all of our greenhouse grown vegetables to retailers & foodservice partners throughout the region. This new facility is located 10 minutes from our greenhouse and just 3 miles from I-75, a major thruway that feeds the eastern seaboard”, commented Matt Mastronardi, Executive Vice-President. Pure Flavor® operates distribution centers in Leamington, ON, Romulus, MI, and San Antonio, TX to support its vast network of growers.
First picks of all four tomatoes types have taken place in recent weeks and are now being shipped throughout North America. It didn’t take long for tomatoes from the new crop to reach consumers in Atlanta, including the team at Georgia Grown which prompted a visit to the greenhouse from their Chef.
“It was amazing to see the process and extensive research & development that goes into these new verities of sweet snacking tomatoes”, said Holly Chute, Senior Executive Chef, Georgia Grown. Chef Chute toured the greenhouse to learn more about the new RedRoyals™ Cherry Tomatoes on the Vine variety and how it is grown. “I really enjoyed learning about the ripening process and picking the tomatoes right from the vine to eat, the sweetness was incredible”, said Chute.
As a vertically integrated vegetable company with a family of growers, the Georgia facilities have opened new doors with a regionally grown product to service key retail & foodservice partners in the southeast. This has also allowed Pure Flavor® to open other markets with additional product as the company’s family of growers continues to expand season over season.