The Oppenheimer Group plans to market tomatoes on-the-vine, long English cucumbers and slicer cucumbers grown in Baja California through a new partnership with United Produce.
Shipping began in late October and goes through the end of the year, said Aaron Quon, greenhouse category director for Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group.
“This volume helps us meet growing retailer demand for these key items, especially tomatoes on-the-vine,” Quon said.
Volume is up on all Mexican commodities marketed by Oppenheimer, including peppers.
“This is our first season with product specifically from west Mexico,” he said.
“(For) Mexican-grown greenhouse produce in general, we are seeing increasing demand from retail throughout North America during the winter months.”
The Canadian season ends in November or December and doesn’t ramp up again until March.
“Mexican vegetables complement the domestic season so retailers can offer consistent supplies year round,” Quon said.
“At the same time, growers are using improved technology in Mexico, which has enhanced quality, yield and consistency.”
Oppenheimer will continue to market greenhouse-grown sweet bell peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers for Guadalajara-based Divemex.
Divemex has had the Fair Trade Certified label on its organic and conventionally grown sweet bell peppers since January.
The peppers are available January through May.
“Conscientious consumers recognize the Fair Trade label as a symbol that strict social, economic and environmental standards have been met,” Quon said.
For each 11-pound box of the certified Divemex peppers sold in the U.S. and Canada, 50 cents will go to a bank account owned and managed by the company’s employees, who decide how to use the funds.
Last year, it went to scholarships for workers’ children.