BC Hot House grower adds Sweetooth peppers

A grower for BC Hot House Foods Inc., Langley, British Columbia, started growing long, red ramiro sweet peppers this season, said Brian Beggs, president.

The peppers will be marketed using the company’s Sweetooth proprietary name.

BC Hot House marketed the peppers a few years ago, but the grower discontinued them. The supply this year will be limited to small local chain customers and some high-end customers, Beggs said.

The same grower also is growing mini eggplants for the first time. The eggplants are packed in 1.75-pound four-packs for Costco, Beggs said.

BC Hot House also introduced new varieties of small tomatoes, including TomatoGems mini tomato medley, Sweet Cherry tomatoes, Tomatoberry mini tomatoes and Tastini grape tomatoes.

Craig Laker, sales director, said the company tested more than 70 varieties and settled on the 10 best-tasting ones to grow commercially.

The new one-bite cherry tomato is one of the sweetest tomatoes on the market, with a brix level of at least 9, Laker said.

BC Hot House had a limited variety of small tomatoes available last year, but it expects this year to have two to three times the volume.

L&M’s Mexican organic pepper season winds up

L&M Cos. Inc., Raleigh, N.C., ships all colors of organic bell peppers out of Mexico through Nogales, Ariz., said Greg Cardamone, general manager of the vegetable division. The crop should finish by late May.

This season’s quality was good, as was movement. L&M started organic peppers in Mexico in 2008, and this was its biggest production year.

Cardamone declined to say what volume of organic peppers the company would ship.

Prime Time names packinghouse manager

In January, Bryan Nickerson was promoted from production associate to packinghouse manager for Coachella, Calif.-based Prime Time International, said Mike Aiton, director of marketing.

Nickerson oversees Prime Time’s two packinghouses in Coachella and Oxnard, Calif.

The packinghouse manager position was created in response to the growing importance of the company’s packinghouse operations and a need to have a manager who is focused on them full-time, Aiton said.

Oppenheimer grower reduces emissions

SunSelect Produce Inc., Aldergrove, British Columbia, whose bell peppers are marketed by Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group, plans to pursue certification for its carbon-friendly growing methods, said Karin Gardner, communications manager for Oppenheimer.

She said it works with a carbon offset provider, Vancouver-based Offsetters, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

SunSelect uses biomass instead of natural gas, and uses energy curtains to retain heat at night. Its ClimaSeries boxes use less corrugated cardboard than did previous boxes, Gardner said.