Fresh Pac International, Oceanside, Calif., plans to launch a full-line organic tomato program this season, said Brian Bernauer, director of sales and marketing. The company expects to start the shade house program in Baja California in September and continue through November, Bernauer said. The first year the program is expected to include limited volume of round, roma and grape tomatoes.
The company also has begun an heirloom tomato program in Oceanside. Fresh Pac used to grow tomatoes locally but abandoned the program when land, labor, water and other expenses became prohibitive and began sourcing from Baja California. Test plots of the heirloom tomatoes will produce through early October.
The project will start with conventional product but also likely will include organic tomatoes, Bernauer said. At first, the tomatoes will be available for local customers, but eventually the program may be expanded outside of California.