Organic product holds steady in Baja California tomato deal - The Packer

Organic product holds steady in Baja California tomato deal

09/14/2012 11:12:00 AM
Tom Burfield

Organic tomatoes are available from a number of Baja California and Southern California grower-shippers.

Deardorff Family Farms, Oxnard, Calif., has had a small program with organic round and romas tomatoes for a couple of years, said sales manager David Cook.

This year’s deal got off to a slow start, a little behind the conventional harvest, and acreage will remain the same as last year, despite strong demand.

“There’s only so much organic acreage available,” Cook said.

The company hasn’t had a problem selling its organic tomatoes, despite the economic downturn, he said.

“The problem is getting enough to have it consistently for everybody that wants it,” Cook said.

In Baja California, San Diego-based Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce kicked off an organic round tomato program with the start of its San Quintin summer season, said Mark Munger, vice president of marketing.

“Demand on it has been really good,” he said.

The program will complement the company’s organic roma and grape tomato deals.

“It was the logical next step,” Munger said.

The plan, as with all the company’s organic programs, is to have a consistent supply on a year-round basis, he said.

The summer program will be followed by an organic round program in fall and winter.

Andrew & Williamson has grown organic romas for almost five years and started offering organic grape tomatoes two years ago, Munger said.

Fresh Pac International, Oceanside, Calif., offers organic cucumbers, Persian cucumbers and squash, said Brian Bernauer, director of sales and marketing.

Next year, ground will be certified organic, and the company will offer organic roma, grape and probably vine-ripe tomatoes, he said.



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