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Monday, May 4, 2015

Red Sun Farms growing fast and keeping up with the growth through expansions

The Produce News

by Christina DiMartino | April 13, 2015

Red Sun Farms is experiencing a proverbial hay-day with its newly launched — and new to the company — organic series of greenhouse produce.

The organic line is now being produced in Mexico and at the company’s new Dublin, VA, facility that opened with its first shipments last fall. The line is being met with outstanding praise in quality, as well as in the acceptance, which is proven by the strong customer demand.

Jim DiMenna, chief executive officer and president of the Leamington, Ontario-based company, said that with an eye on the future, Red Sun Farms is the only company in the produce industry with food supply integration that spans all three NAFTA countries.

“In addition to our organic tomatoes-on-the-vine and grape tomatoes, we are working hard to offer organic options for our entire product line,” said DiMenna. “This means that in the future we will offer organic bell peppers, mini cucumbers, cucumbers and other specialty tomatoes.”

The “Red Sun Farms” Artisan Series, the conventional line, and the “Golden Sun Farms” Organic Series will be on full display at Booth No. 714 at the CPMA Convention & Trade Show, April 15-17 in Montreal.

DiMenna is also a past chair of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association. He served as CPMA Convention & Trade Show chair in 2013, and in 2012 he was named Produce Man of the Year by the organization. His dedication to the group remains steadfast, and other Red Sun Farms’ staff members are also deeply involved in the CPMA.

Adrian Abbot, director of operations, served as convention chair in Vancouver in 2009, and was also named Man of the Year in 2009.

Sabrina Pokomandy, marketing and public relations director, served on the CPMA Re-Branding Committee, and she currently holds a seat on the Health Summit and on the Policy Proposal Steering Committee.

Red Sun Farms’ Planning Supervisor, Lynda Dick, is part of the Passions for Produce Group in 2015.

In addition to DiMenna, Red Sun Farms’ CPMA expo booth will be manned by Carlos Visconti, chief operating officer, Jim Cathey, sales manager, Harold Paivairnta, director of sales, Abbot and Pokomandy.

The company is also a sponsor of the CPMA Convention “APP” this year.

“The CPMA expo is an important part of Red Sun Farms’ culture,” said DiMenna. “The event draws both Canadian retailers and foodservice operators, but it also draws these categories of professionals from the U.S. and from other countries.”

He added that in 2015 the company will begin groundbreaking on its Canadian head office expansion.

“This will accommodate our growth and investment in talent,” said DiMenna. “And we will begin Phase II of construction at our Virginia greenhouse facility. We recently completed our expansion at our Pharr, Texas, location, which doubled the size of the facility.”

Red Sun Farms is now using a top-sealed, fiber-base container for its organic grape tomatoes. The package is produced by CFK Inc., a Canadian-owned manufacturer that offers a wide range of molded pulp and foam products to meet the specific demands of retail consumers, foodservice operators and the packaging industry.

“The earth-cycle base is made from a blend of recycled and virgin North American wood fiber,” explained DiMenna. “It is certified recyclable, compostable and renewable, and it offers superior water hold-out and strength performance.

“We continue to look to the future with excitement and by embracing our growth in every direction as it is needed,” he added.

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