Sunripe Certified Brands' Jon Esformes Talks Tomato Growing, Future Plans, and More
PALMETTO, FL – There is an inherent commitment to excellence from Sunripe Certified Brands that extends past the field into every facet of the company’s operations. As CEO Jon Esformes recently shared, these values result in the company’s full portfolio of products, with new innovations always in the pipeline.
“We’re currently harvesting tomatoes out of southwest Florida until mid-June, and supplementing this crop with product from our operations in Mexico through June as well,” Jon tells me. “From there, we’ll move further north in Florida, before packing out of Georgia, Virginia, and California.”
Florida serves as an ideal growing place for Sunripe Certified Brands, with microclimates situated throughout the state that provide for fall, winter, and early spring tomatoes. The sandy soil also allows for further control over fertilizer and watering practices, in addition to serving as a healthy climate where plants thrive.
Sunripe Certified Brands’ vertically-integrated nature remains at the forefront of its high-quality offerings, granting the company year-round availability for its tomatoes. By farming nearly 90% of its own product, Sunripe is able to control every aspect of its production; from seed development and farming, through to harvesting, packing, and sales.
“Our tagline, ‘Following the sun, leading in quality,’ was chosen not just because it sounds good, but because that is how we actually operate; in a way that works best for our customers,” Jon elaborates.
As Sunripe moves throughout the U.S., its entire operation moves along with the harvest. The company’s key personnel relocates to each new location, Jon says, to ensure that the quality of the company’s products and services never wavers.
This collective focus, and company commitment to every individual on its team, enables Sunripe to continue developing new products for its retail customers, such as several proprietary tomato varieties that the company hopes to introduce over the next year. Sunripe also recently unveiled a new strawberry program to round out its offerings.
“Our greatest focus is efficiency, but to us that means ‘how do we treat our tomatoes with the greatest respect possible,’” Jon says. “That’s what keeps us up at night, thinking how we can do this better tomorrow than we did today.”
This mentality has Jon and the Sunripe Certified Brands team always on the lookout for new ideas, and ways to enhance the quality of its tomatoes through quality, safety, and sustainability.
As Sunripe Certified Brands continues to build on the tradition set in motion since its founding in 1920, AndNowUKnow will report on the innovative plans sure to make their way onto the shelf.