Village Farms International Inc., based in Heathrow, Florida (U.S.), is a vertically integrated company that grows, markets and distributes fresh produce to retail and foodservice channels in the U.S. and Canada.
“We primarily grow using advanced technology-controlled environment agriculture, a fancy term that basically means growing in enclosed glass climate-controlled greenhouses that use hydroponics,” said Helen L. Aquino, director of brand marketing and communication for the company. “The benefits of this type of growing are numerous, but for our customers, this means a consistent quality product that is available year-round.”
Village Farms grows tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, and is best known for its exclusive specialty tomatoes like Heavenly Villagio Marzano, Lorabella Blossom, Sinfully Sweet Campari, Cabernet Estate Reserve, Cherry No. 9 and Maverick Mix.
Aquino noted that specialty tomatoes have consistently shown sustained and substantial growth as a variety segment over the past several years within the greenhouse-grown tomato category because consumers are looking for flavor.
“Consumers want new and interesting flavor profiles, and the small snacking tomatoes, aka specialties, deliver in this regard,” Aquino said. “But just because a tomato is a greenhouse-grown specialty does not mean it will taste great. Our proven success with our retail partners has come from consumers putting their money where their mouths are. We get repeat purchase on our specialty varieties that are exclusive to Village Farms and that we have searched the world over for and that our expert farmers know how to grow to maximize yield, shelf life and flavor.”
Success, she said, comes from a team approach that is hard to maintain in a vertically integrated company, but it is a key to success at Village Farms.
“We have been around almost 30 years and have had an opportunity to make a lot of mistakes that we have also learned from,” she said. “The key is we never stop learning, never stop innovating and always look to stay one step ahead to differentiate.”
Click here to read the original article at The Produce News.
Photo credit: Village Farms