AMADO, ARIZ. — Wholesum™ celebrates another successful year of their fair trade program that empowers their farms and employees. In just six years, the Community Development Funds from the sales of Wholesum’s™ Fair Trade Certified produce have surpassed the 4.5 million-dollar mark with over 1 million being raised in 2019.
“Each year I am in awe at how much the consumer choice for fair trade produce can impact our farming communities,” says Ricardo Crisantes, Chief Commercial Officer of Wholesum™. “Our workers are truly empowered by this program. They are voting on new projects to allocate the funds generated by fair trade sales, whether that’s for healthcare, education, housing or anything else that will benefit the community. We are proud to grow produce that gives back.”
At the family farms, several valuable Fair Trade Community projects were completed in 2019. The Healthy Start Fair Trade Volunteer project in Sonora, Mexico was one of the highlights of the year. Industry partners and customers volunteered to build a kitchen at the local kindergarten. Students now enjoy daily meals in a safe and comfortable environment. The program also funds a licensed nutritionist who guides kitchen employees as well as parents in making healthy dietary choices for the students and their families. Another project of scale was the transportation project in Amado, Arizona. Workers who live in neighboring communities have the option to use a low-cost shuttle service, cutting the number of miles driven by employees, which also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Wholesum™ has been able to give back to their communities largely through their innovation in the organic produce category. Last year they had introduced their new line of high-flavor snacking tomatoes that are Fair Trade Certified and in 100% recyclable top-seal packaging. “At Wholesum we work hard to keep our workers, consumers and environment at the forefront of everything we do,” says Crisantes.
With more product and project innovations anticipated for this spring and summer, Wholesum™ expects that this year’s community development funds will surpass the previous year. “It was a fantastic year for the farm and our workers in 2019. I am confident we can push ourselves even further this year to grow the program. I look forward to what the future has in store for our workers and Wholesum,” says Crisantes.
Wholesum, third generation family-owned and operated farms based in Southern Arizona are growers and distributors of Fair Trade, organic produce. With over 90 years of farming experience, Wholesum has been dedicated to continuous improvement along the supply chain through responsible sourcing, twenty plus years of organic growing, equitable labor practices and environmental protection. They are also pioneering in the fair trade movement as the first Fair Trade Certified farm in the US and partner with organic growers with the same mission and commitment. Through a combination of greenhouse and open field production, Wholesum provides a year-round supply of high-quality organic vegetables. More information is available at www.wh.farm.