Nov. 30, 2016, Delta, OH – At this time of the year in the Midwest, fewer hours of sunlight generally means an end to fresh locally grown vegetables. However this season, such is not the case in Ohio.
Employees at the new NatureFresh™ Farms greenhouse facility here have started picking speciality tomatoes in addition to the popular tomatoes on the vine to ship through the winter. With an emphasis on quality and flavour, retailers will see a renewed interest in the produce aisle this winter.
“Every flavour provides a sensory experience that distinguishes itself,” says director of marketing Chris Veillon. “A tomato’s flavour is a consumer’s most immediate and visceral experience with the variety.”
TOMZ SNACKING TOMATO BRAND
Customers this winter will enjoy an extensive variety of NatureFresh Farms’ Ohio-grown tomatoes that include red, yellow, orange grape tomatoes, red cherry tomatoes, sweet red cocktail tomatoes, and mixed medley tomatoes. All snacking tomatoes are being packed under the TOMZ snacking tomato brand.
NatureFresh™ has been shipping its popular OhioRed™ Tomatoes On The Vine since last February and will begin shipping OhioRed™ Roma and OhioRed™ Beefsteak tomatoes later this winter.
NatureFresh unveiled its new Ohio Proud themed TOMZ top seal packaging at PMA Fresh Summit in Orlando in October and was met with rave reviews. By transitioning to top seal packaging, NatureFresh is reducing the plastic content of its packages by up to 25 per cent.
“We want to ensure that consumers clearly understand that this product is grown in Ohio,” says Ray Wowryk, the company’s director of business development. NatureFresh included a U.S. flag in the creative and increased the font size of the country of origin to avoid any confusion on store shelves of where the product was grown.
“Growing our tomatoes year-round in Ohio significantly reduces the food miles that the product must travel to store level. We are increasing shelf life by picking the fruit off the vine at a later colour stage to ensure we deliver maximum flavour,” notes Wowryk.
MORE EXPANSION PLANNED
NatureFresh is in the midst of a major expansion in Ohio with up to 180 acres of year-round production planned for the Delta facility. Phase 1 (15.30 acres) plus phase 2 (15.30 acres) have been completed to date with phase 3 (15.30 acres) to be completed in December, bringing the total of new construction to 45 acres in the last 12 months. With an abundance of off-peak power available from the grid, NatureFresh is using high-pressure sodium lighting to supplement its growing practices to be able to grow year-round in Delta.
To learn more about NatureFresh Farms and its Ohio grown project, visit naturefresh.ca/Ohio-Fresh.
ABOUT NATUREFRESH FARMS
NatureFresh Farms has grown to become one of the largest independent, vertically integrated greenhouse vegetable growers in North America. Ity has growing facilities in Leamington, Ont., and Delta, Ohio.
Family owned NatureFresh Farms ships greenhouse grown produce year-round to key retailers throughout North America.
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