People often ask, “What does it take to be a Red Tomato grower?” Or, “How do you go about adding new growers to the network?” The answer often surprises people: “It’s rather simple.” We always start with our current growers: “Who do you know? Who do you trust? Who grows peaches as well as you do?” Our growers understand that our brand represents them. So, they take these questions very seriously.
When we’re taking produce to market, our focus is almost exclusively on wholesale growers – farmers who understand the quality control, packing and shipping required for the retail and/or institutional market. Wholesale growers also tend to have the kind of infrastructure that helps us aggregate product on the farm rather than in our own warehouse. After that, it’s about people who want to work with us – who take food safety, fair trade and ecological production as seriously as we do. After all, our farmers are our most valued brand ambassadors – along with their fruits and veggies!
Building relationships takes time. As a result, our network grows slowly. We work within the constraints of market demand and the needs of our current farmers. But we’re open to matchmakers – let us know if you’ve got a lead on the next Red Tomato grower!