Ray Wowryk Discusses Nature Fresh™ Farms’ Local Winter-Grown Tomato Program
LEAMINGTON, ONTARIO - Nowhere else does the phrase “think globally, act locally” ring truer than in the realm of produce. While many of us in the industry are working to improve the health of the world, it is through programs like Nature Fresh™ Farms’ local winter-grown tomato program that this mission finds its roots.
“At Nature Fresh Farms, growing local means we can provide consumers with fresher produce throughout the winter months. There is an increasingly popular consumer trend toward local produce, so our program meets this demand by providing more local options at retail stores year-round,” Ray Wowryk, Director of Business Development, shared with me.
The year-round availability of Nature Fresh Farms’ products is key—both to meet that rising demand Ray mentioned and to keep top categories in consumers’ shopping carts at all times. How the greenhouse grower accomplishes this task is through its Leamington, Ontario, and Delta, Ohio, greenhouses. Both facilities are in proximity to each other, helping Nature Fresh Farms maintain a strong supply of its tomato varieties to key areas throughout the year.
“Producing year-round in both facilities also allows us to ensure consistent flavor throughout the areas we grow,” Ray noted. “With many advantages to producing closer to market, this program allows the fruit to ripen naturally on the vine rather than bringing tomatoes from a distant market, giving consumers more flavorful product and a better experience with our produce.”
As it is the chilly season, Nature Fresh Farms’ local winter-grown tomato program is underway, with the grower’s Leamington greenhouse cultivating 235,000 tomato plants designated for winter product this year and the Delta facility’s 45 acres in full local production.
“This production supports our year-round supply during the offseason, ensuring we have local tomatoes available during the colder months when you normally don’t see local tomatoes,” Ray continued. “The quality has been great so far and production is ahead of last year. Currently, the market is seasonally strong with the demand being much higher than supply. As demand continues to grow each year, we are excited to offer retailers and consumers in the areas we grow that same consistency in supply and quality that local products offer.”
In addition to ensuring supply, quality, and top-notch flavor, Nature Fresh Farms’ local program reduces the company’s environmental impact by cutting down food delivery miles.
“Through innovation and the constant introduction of new flavorful varieties, Nature Fresh Farms continues to work toward providing consumers with a ‘grown close to you’ program, ensuring the consumers will always experience an excellent tomato,” Ray concluded.
For more living, breathing examples of produce pioneers embodying the “think globally, act locally” mindset, keep reading AndNowUKnow.