May 9, 2023
Wholesum adds organic seed production

Adding in-house capabilities to produce organic seeds is helping Wholesum transition to a more fully-integrated organic vegetable growing operation.

The organic seeds project, which includes breeding seeds specifically for organic production, began in 2022 and will continue to be a growing part of Wholesum’s operation, according to a news release. The Amado, Arizona-based Wholesum is a Fair Trade Certified growers and shippers of organic fresh vegetables.

In their first efforts, Wholesum learned how to produce organic seeds for cucumbers and peppers and plans to expand both knowledge and production through 2023 and beyond.

“Organic seed production is a fundamental part of the integrity of organics and the organic supply chain, from the grower to the retailer, to the consumer,” Wholesum officials said in a news release. “Organic seeds are specifically bred and better adapted for organic production systems, leading to a better organic product. However, when compared to the vast availability of non-organically produced seeds, both choices and quality of organic seeds are limited.”

To remain on top of the fast-growing organic sector and to do so sustainably, Wholesum must be at the forefront of innovation, including in its capacity to deliver high quality, healthy seeds,” Theojary Crisantes Jr., Wholesum’s chief operations officer, said in the release.

Theojary Crisantes

“As organic growers, we envision a future where organic seeds and the resources to produce them are more widely available,” Crisantes said in the release. “We support investments in organic plant breeding and seed research and feel that moving the needle forward in this area will help organic production thrive.”

Seed production is a highly meticulous task requiring specialized labor to complete a full seed production cycle; from sowing the initial “parent” seed to the extraction of the new seed. All is achieved under highly controlled conditions including environmental, structural, and phytosanitary controls.

“While currently at a small scale, devoting time, knowledge, resources and infrastructure to this task is one way that we contribute to a better future for organic farmers, the development of our workforce, and at a larger scale, to the organic movement,” Ricardo Crisantes, chief commercial officer, said in the release.

Wholesum is a third-generation family farming operation that grows and ships organic tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, squash and eggplant.

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