SAN JUAN, PR – 03 Feb, 2016 – Soon after ringing in the New Year, Caribbean Produce Exchange (CPE) announced the beginning of the annual Puerto Rico tomato harvest. For the third consecutive year, the largest produce distributor on the Island presented its integrated marketing and educational campaign for 2016 “Puerto Rico Tiene Tomates” (translation: “Puerto Rico has Tomatoes”), to support and promote the local tomato harvest.
This year’s initiative, also include new agribusiness entrepreneurs: Florece Hidroponia, a Morovis-based hydroponic farm featuring new tomato varieties, and Finca Gonzalez, a traditional tomato project in the Southwestern region of Guanica. As in previous years, Gargiulo Puerto Rico tomatoes will also be a part of the campaign.
“Puerto Rico Tiene Tomates” a play on word, in Spanish, with a gutsy tone, has a social focus on the importance for “planting for the future”. The campaign will include various traditional, social media and non-traditional media, including a web series focusing on the stories of Puerto Ricans that make possible the local tomato harvest. These include laborers who plant and harvest the land, those who work in trade channels and even restaurants enabling consumers to enjoy tomatoes from farm to table during challenging times. Both the tomatoes and the people are featured as the main characters in this project. Among the campaign objectives is to continue educating consumers on the nutritional values for better health and wellness, along with its versatility to include in daily menus. The spokesperson for the campaign will be celebrity Agronomist Douglas Candelario.
“We’ve refocused the campaign this year to convey a more human, socially conscious and relevant content around the annual harvest. Puerto Rico continues to produce millions of pounds of tomatoes for the local market and for export, but it is the people from the agricultural sector to the food industry who are behind this effort and make it all possible with their hard work and commitment. When presented with challenging times and opportunities, one has to have the tomates (the guts) to keep moving forward committedly, without losing the vision of what lies ahead in the future. The main characters were chosen because they have the tomates to do it and succeed,” commented Gualberto Rodriguez, CPE President.
Supporting this year’s educational campaign is a wide array of CPE clients, from the wholesale, retail, food service, restaurant and QSR sectors. “We thank our clients who are not only strategic allies in this project, but become allies of Puerto Rico by supporting it. Collectively, we will share with customers the importance of consuming tomatoes for better health, and for its delicious versatility, whether at home or at your favorite on premise location,” added Rodriguez.
Florece Hidroponia is the first commercial scale hydroponic based agricultural project boasting grape, roma and beefstake tomato varieties, and they are projecting a year-round production for the Puerto Rico market. At present, Grape and Roma tomatoes are imported entirely, so this project could be a first of its kind and allows for partial import substitution in this product category. During the months covering the Puerto Rico harvest season, CPE only distributes Puerto Rican tomatoes to as part of its corporate commitment to support the local agriculture ecosystem and the country’s economic development.
Finca Gonzalez, recently became the only Puerto Rican owned agribusiness certified by the USDA in Good Agricultural Practices. This certification allows Gonzalez to offer its array of produce for export to the mainland, as well as for multinational chains located on the Island requiring this type of federal compliance. Said project features beefstake tomatoes, alongside red and yellow onion fields, papayas, cubanelle and green bell peppers, all of which are distributed locally.
Gargiulo Puerto Rico, located in the Southern municipality of Santa Isabel, produces on average 37.5 million lbs. of “beefsteak” and “homegrown” tomatoes, 70% of which is exported to the East coast. After the annual harvest concludes, Gargiulo also continues to harvest watermelons and pineapples for the local Puerto Rico market.
“As leaders in the distribution of high quality produce, for over a half century, we aim to create inspiring experiences for our consumers. This campaign, will convey wellness, nutrition and pride in a creative and distinctive manner,” concluded Rodriguez.
Caribbean Produce Exchange (CPE) is the largest produce distributor in Puerto Rico with 57 years of experience in managing food safety for a wide array of produce, eggs and highly perishable products. CPE is the only Puerto Rican company recognized as a Blue Book Trading Member since 1984, a consecutive 32-year tenure, and the only company outside of US and Canada to hold such a longstanding record. It is the first company in the Caribbean region to ever receive USDA’s Agricultural Best Practices Certification.
Distributed by Press Release Jet
Company Name: Caribbean Produce Exchange
Contact Person: Karen Garnik
Phone: (787) 502-2424
Country: Puerto Rico