Oceanside Pole to double Romas, increase rounds
OCEANSIDE, Calif. — The best hamburger tomato. The legendary vine-ripe. The one that’s carefully color staged to arrive so you can sell it tomorrow. Call it what you will, the much-anticipated Oceanside Pole tomato will be available soon.
With twice as many Romas as last year in the plans, as well as new acreage planted in grower Harry Singh Jr.’s signature vine-ripe seed, West Coast Tomato Growers and The Oppenheimer Group are entering the third year of their marketing partnership with optimism.
“It’s going to be another great season,” said Aaron Quon, director of Oppy’s greenhouse and vegetable categories. “Our partnership has evolved beautifully over the last couple of years, blending our complementary expertise to deliver one of the strongest tomato programs in the industry.”
Quon said that while Oppy’s marketing and logistic contributions support the success of the program, it all comes down to having the best tomato.
“Several factors make Oceanside Pole tomatoes deserve their outstanding reputation,” said Quon. “Mr. Singh starts with a proven seed variety, then employs the labor-intensive but highly effective pole method of growing each plant, which results in greater yields of robust, well-formed tomatoes. The sunny microclimate between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains provides an optimal environment for the Singh family to apply its 70-plus years of growing experience to produce truly excellent tomatoes.”
Oceanside Pole tomatoes are favored by retailers across the U.S. and in Canada for their impressively long shelf life and their flavor, as well as their reliable arrival condition, Quon said.
“With the team at West Coast Tomato Growers, we’ve refined our color staging practices to assure the tomatoes we ship will match our customers’ arrival specifications every time,” he explained. “Retailers can count on the condition of the tomatoes, enabling them to schedule these tomatoes into their plans accordingly.”
West Coast Tomato Growers Marketing Coordinator Dick Keim said the season should begin in June and end in November.
“We plant in a way that spreads the production out over as many months as is optimal,” he said. “With the assumption of normal climatic conditions, we’ll start harvesting vine-ripes sometime in the last week of June and Romas in August. The heaviest production will last July through October then naturally taper off.”
Keim anticipates twice the Romas of the 2013 season, an increase driven by demand from customers who tried Oceanside’s superior Roma variety last season and wanted more.
In addition to Oceanside Pole vine-ripe tomatoes, Oppy also markets conventional greenhouse tomatoes from the U.S., Canada and Mexico and organic greenhouse tomatoes grown in Canada and Mexico.