Wholesum’s greenhouse expansion in Arizona is adding six acres of organic tomato production to its existing 18-acre facility.
The new greenhouse in Amado, Arizona, will hold the latest technology for innovative and sustainable production, which is at the core of Wholesum’s social and environmental commitments. The expansion also will bolster its commitment to Fair Trade and the worker communities it supports.
With the first harvest anticipated in November, the new greenhouse will bring a projected 3.5 million additional pounds of U.S. organic tomatoes to market per year. Following the expansion, 100 percent of Wholesum’s beefsteak tomatoes will be U.S.-grown, meeting consumer demand for U.S. tomatoes.
The Crisantes family, owners of Wholesum, opted for an Ultra-Clima concept greenhouse. The system comes with an efficient heating and cooling system allowing total control of climate conditions for optimal plant photosynthesis, along with energy efficient fans and the infrastructure to recirculate irrigation water. An advanced air pressure system also aids with food safety and pest control. The implementation of a brand new full-vision system with infrared sensors to monitor plant growth also will 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 a sustainable business model that cares about its workers,” said Ricardo Crisantes, chief commercial officer of Wholesum.
Wholesum’s greenhouse expansion will add 25 openings of year-round employment to the farm. These employees also will 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,” Crisantes said.
Wholesum’s greenhouse expansion concludes Phase II of the company’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, bringing 60 jobs to the Santa Cruz County. 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.