Del Campo Supreme has extended supply of key items grown in Mexico — notably its pink and yellow Pearls tomatoes — with the addition of greenhouse operations in the state of Jalisco.
Pearls, promoted for their sweetness by the Nogales, Ariz.-based company, are in their fourth year. Sales benefit its Flavor with a Cause program, with proceeds aiding research on breast cancer and prostate cancer.
“They’ve been very well received on the retail side, so we’ll continue to have that,” said Willy Martinez, operations manager at Del Campo Supreme. “This is the first time that we’ve had a year-round operation on those specialty tomatoes.”
Pearls are aimed at consumers of bite-size tomatoes.
“The pink look like a large grape tomato, but the taste is sweeter,” Martinez said. “The yellow Pearls are like a cherry tomato, but the brix is amazing. It’s almost like a melon brix. They actually taste like candy.”
It’s been pegged at 10 to 12 on the brix scale.
Greenhouse production in Jalisco, designed to cover Sinaloa’s off season, began in summer. Del Campo Supreme also has been growing red bell peppers and grape tomatoes there hydroponically.
Del Campo Supreme’s overall focus remains on tomatoes — beefsteak, roma, vine and grapes — and on red bell peppers. It carries only the elongated Le Rouge type of red pepper. Winter production in Sinaloa’s La Cruz area is expected to tick up.
“We increased acreage about 15%,” Martinez said. Harvesting there is expected to start by early December and run to May.
In mid-October, Martinez said he had no immediate concerns about the tomato suspension agreement controversy between Mexican and Florida growers.
“This is something that keeps on going,” he said. “We just don’t know what’s going to be the outcome of it. We have too little information as things are being discussed in Washington and Mexico City to be concerned about it.”