As part of its commitment to supply the growing demand for organic produce by consumers around the United States, The DiMare Co. will be introducing two new organic items to the fresh produce industry around mid-November. The items are organic greenhouse-grown grape tomatoes and organic greenhouse-grown heirloom tomatoes.
The two new items are being grown in "state-of-the-art greenhouses in our Ruskin, FL, facility," according to Anthony J. (Tony) DiMare, vice president of DiMare Ruskin.
The rollout of the new organic tomatoes "will coincide with the harvest of those items," which is expected to begin around the middle of November, DiMare told The Produce News Oct. 5 in an exclusive interview. Production should then extend through about June 15.
"We're going to start [shipping] regionally, kind of on a small scale," he stated, adding that the new products will be introduced in the Southeast as well as parts of the Northeast and Midwest.
Asked why the 87-year-old, third-generation family farming company was adding the two new products to its comprehensive line at this time, DiMare replied, "As we recognize in the industry, demand for organic produce has grown steadily" in recent years. But what makes these two new items different, he declared, is their greenhouse environment.
"With our production in the Ruskin-area greenhouses, we can control the environment," he said. "We won't have the pressures that you experience in open-field production. Putting these new tomatoes in a controlled environment gives us uninterrupted supply and better quality in the long run."
More specifically, DiMare said, "As far as the organic grape variety, it tends to have a higher Brix than open-field varieties -- and it has great flavor. On the heirloom variety, being grown in the controlled environment will give it better quality and a little better shelf life [than conventionally grown] along with better flavor."
The company executive concluded, "This greenhouse project of introducing two new items [is] very exciting. This potentially will generate a lot of interest in the industry [with customers], and we're very excited as a company about that."