AMADO, Ariz. – Wholesum, the leading growers and shippers of Fair Trade certified 100% organic farm-fresh vegetables, released their annual Conscientious Company Report today. The report highlights the company’s social and environmental responsibility commitments and achievements for 2021 using the company’s values of integrity, responsible growth, people in motion and problem solving as a framework. to guide these efforts.
“Sustainability is a journey and an evolution,” says Ricardo Crisantes, Commercial Director of Wholesum. “Each year we face new challenges, but also find innovative ways to meet the needs of our stakeholder community in a holistic way.”
The report details advances in the use of renewable energy, ecosystem management, the impact of fair trade and other areas in which farms are carrying out their responsibilities. The report also highlights the company’s progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Wholesum officially joined the United Nations Global Compact in 2018 and works to advance SDGs 5 and 12, gender equality, and responsible consumption and production.
Here are the highlights of the report:
- 35,476 tonnes of 100% organic products were put on the market in 2021.
- For pest control, Wholesum produced 798,000 ladybugs in-house for use on cucumber crops and spent 170,000 man hours manually removing pests as an alternative to using pesticides.
- 12 acres of new high-tech, energy- and water-efficient tomato greenhouses have been built at Wholesum Farms Sonora to increase organic tomato production.
- Wholesum captured and recirculated 18% of irrigation water at Wholesum Farms Arizona, or 16 million gallons. This decrease in water efficiency compared to last year is due to the increase in phytosanitary measures and the transition to an improved water recirculation system which will be fully operational this year.
- Wholesum achieved 60% renewable energy use across all three family farms, increasing the energy efficiency of all family farms by 16% over the previous year.
- Through its partnership with CV’s Tampico Energy SAPI, the company has achieved 100% renewable energy at Wholesum Farms Sonora.
- To support biodiversity, the company has planted 490 native trees and flowers that support native wildlife in surrounding farming communities.
- 818 employees received sustainability training on topics such as responsible water use.
People on the move:
- 62% of Wholesum’s products were sold as Fair Trade, which generated additional funds for farmworker communities.
- $1.8 million in fair trade premiums have been paid to Wholesum producers to invest in projects that meet the needs of workers and the community. This is a 42% increase over last year’s premiums totaling over $7.7 million in community development funds since the Fairtrade program was established.
- In 2021, the Wholesum Farms Sonora Fair Trade Committee implemented an educational recovery program that helped 65 students return to school after a difficult pandemic year.
- Wholesum continued its commitment to SDGs 5 and 12, measuring gender data across the business and classifying inputs as renewable or non-renewable to identify areas of opportunity for improvement.
- Wholesum reports a female employee population of 44% and has identified opportunities to develop women within the company into leadership positions.
- Due to new construction at Wholesum Farms Sonora and the 10,000 square foot expansion of the Wholesum warehouse, Wholesum has seen an increase in the use of non-renewable inputs in 2021.
“We tackle complex environmental and social challenges with an innovative spirit,” says Crisantes. “In 2021, we expanded our operations in Sonora and our warehouse in Nogales in response to the growing demand for high quality fresh organic produce. At the same time, we were able to achieve 100% renewable energy in Sonora and installed energy-efficient solar panels in our warehouse to replace electric power consumption. Through our efforts, we can accomplish our mission of beating the conventional through responsible practices for the well-being of our community.
To learn more about Wholesum’s 2021 Conscientious Corporate Report, visit their website: https://wh.farm/sustainably-grown.html.
Wholesum is a third generation family farm based in Southern Arizona and growers/shippers of Fair Trade certified 100% organic produce. With over 90 years of experience in agriculture, Wholesum is dedicated to creating a nobler food system that puts people and planet first through responsible sourcing, fair labor practices and the environmental Protection. Through deep industry knowledge and innovation, Wholesum is positioning itself as a leader in the organic industry and a pioneer in fair trade products. Through a combination of greenhouse and field production, Wholesum provides a year-round supply of high-quality organic vegetables. More information is available at www.wh.farm.