Red Sun Farms continues to innovate at Southern Innovations
The team at Red Sun Farms could not be more excited to meet with its retailers at Southern Innovations.
“We are committed to supporting our partners in the new year and beyond,” said Leona Neill, director of marketing and packaging for the Kingsville, ON-based company. “Our aim is to exceed their expectations now and in the future. Red Sun Farms is focused on delivering great-tasting, quality produce year-round. We will also continue developing sustainable solutions to align our business with the goals of our retailers.”
The Red Sun Farms team continues to focus on innovation in its products, technology and sustainability, working with technology providers to improve growing conditions via light technology, and investing in innovations to automate operations — including automated packing lines, and greenhouse misting systems.
Southern Innovations is of key importance to Red Sun Farms and the team looks forward to reconnecting, building new relationships, and showcasing the developments and technologies that its team has been hard at work on.
At the show, the Red Sun Farms team will be at booth. No. 601, showcasing some of its new technologies, including compostable cucumber wrap, recyclable top seal technologies and recyclable bags.
“There are even more opportunities for sustainable improvements as technology evolves, and we are continually looking forward to bringing better and more sustainable solutions to our consumers,” Neill said. “The third season using a one-of-a-kind LED technology will be underway shortly, supplying Ontario-grown peppers year-round. The unique technology recreates and modulates the full spectrum of the sun’s natural light, essentially enabling the farm to de-seasonalize production.”
The Red Sun Farms value proposition is seed-to-plate, and the company prides itself on owning every step of the process — seed selection, propagation at the farms, greenhouse operations, harvesting, packing and distribution.
“Our master growers have selected varieties of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers that will delight and exceed customers’ flavor expectations,” Neill said. “Red Sun Farms is committed to supporting our partners, and we’re looking forward to exceeding their needs with amazing flavor, quality and year-round supply.”
The company’s farms use sustainable practices like water recycling, yield optimization and best practices that minimizing food waste and the marketing team works with packaging suppliers to develop new, eco-friendly options.
“The team has also challenged our packaging suppliers to push sustainable technology resulting in the commercialization, increased recycle content in clamshells, fiber punnets, compostable PLU’s, and labels with washable adhesives,” Neill said. “We see more opportunity for sustainable improvements through technology, and we look forward to working with our suppliers in bringing new solutions to our consumers.”
Neill noted Red Sun Farms has been attending Southern Innovations before its inception.
“Back in the early days, it was just nicknamed the Fall Conference,” she said. “A few years ago, when the theme of the event changed to innovation, we were thrilled with the opportunities this show presented. Red Sun makes the most of the theme as the No. 1 question all exhibitors are asked by retailers and foodservice partners is, ‘What’s new?’ At Southern Innovations, 100 percent of the Red Sun team’s efforts is showing off our newest varietals, technologies and latest initiatives that keep us at the forefront of our industry.”
In 2022, the company is incredibly excited about the launch of its recyclable and compostable fiber packaging for Organic Grape tomatoes.
“We work closely with our packaging suppliers to develop new, sustainable options. In fact, we collaborated with one of our suppliers to create a fiber-based pint package to reduce plastic use by over 90 percent,” Neill said. “This package captured an innovation award in Berlin, Germany and is quickly achieving success across the globe. Red Sun Farms was the first to introduce this unique technology in produce, and our consumers love it.”
The crops up north have faced a lot of challenges this year with virus and climate pressures like extreme heat, however, Red Sun Farms’ world-class growers and crop care professionals have done an outstanding job in managing crops under some very tough conditions.
“In the south, our new crops from Mexico are beginning to ramp up once again for the fall/winter season and they are in great shape,” Neill said. “We are looking forward to realizing the potential this season brings. Overall, 2022 has been a tough year for many segments of the agriculture industry with water shortages, scarcity of labor, rising fertilizer and other input costs and such. However, North American farmers are a resilient breed and always find a way to deliver some of the safest, nutritious, and flavorful fresh fruits and vegetables to homes and restaurants across the continent. We are all looking forward to a strong finish to 2022 and a bountiful 2023.”