GR Fresh Executive Vice President Antonio Villalobos Talks New Mexican-Grown Pomegranate Program
- by Jessica Donnel
MCALLEN, TX - As the company continues its mission of increasing its presence in the U.S. this summer, GR Fresh is also setting out for some other uncharted territory—Mexican-grown pomegranates. Having quietly built up its acreage and supplies for the past four years, the company has announced it's primed and ready to start offering GR Fresh branded pomegranates grown in Mexico for the upcoming season.
“We are very excited to be the one of the first Mexican growers to export pomegranates to the U.S.,” shared third generation and Executive Vice President Antonio Villalobos. “We are really pioneering this effort and making it a goal to have pomegranates be equal to our tomato and pepper businesses. We’ve already been talking to retailers about how unique and rare this program is, and the reception has been great.”
While this is the third year GR Fresh will be offering its pomegranates on a wide scale basis, Antonio was happy to report that volumes, quality, and brix, are all already looking excellent. GR Fresh offers both the Wonderful and Early Wonderful varieties, growing out of Torreón. Torreón boasts a dry and hot climate similar to that in which California Pomegranates thrive in.
“We looked at the region in Torreón and noticed it had a hot and dry climate similar to where pomegranates have been thriving in California. We assumed this would be a great region to adapt to, and luckily, it was! Since we began there four years ago, we have increased production by 50 percent each year we’ve been growing.”
Antonio tells me that the company will begin its harvest as soon as the end of August, continuing on until the end of October and early November. GR Fresh provides its pomegranates as whole fruit and packed arils, with the whole fruit available for retailers in various single layers, club packs, and bins. Pomegranate Arils will also be available in bags, clamshells, or cups.
As for the rest of GR Fresh’s comprehensive summer programs, the company is going strong. GR Fresh started up in its summer growing regions in May, offering Roma, Grape tomatoes, Cucumbers, White onions, Red LaRouge bell peppers, and Mini-sweet peppers. Last week marked the start for Green peppers and hot peppers, Antonio says, and next week will begin production for Round tomatoes along with Roma and Grape tomato under its new plastic greenhouses in Jalisco and Michoacán. Come November, GR Fresh will also begin harvesting for its Pecan season out the state of Chihuahua.
Overall, GR Fresh is reporting large volumes and beautiful quality coming out of its Mexican growing regions. As the company continues to turn out delicious summer season products, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow for all the details.