HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Tony Cappelli, account manager for Leamington, Ontario-based Westmoreland, which markets under the TopLine Farms brand, had a couple new organic items to discuss at the Global Organic Produce Expo.

Organic heirloom tomatoes are new for the 2018-2019 season, and the company will also be sourcing organic peppers from Canada in the spring.

“Organic, the line is growing for us, slowly but surely,” Cappelli said Feb. 2. “It’s going always in the direction that we want it to go, which is up.”

With more shoppers looking for organic, Westmoreland continues to search for sustainable packaging alternatives, which are being requested by certain buyers.

“We’re still working on that,” Cappelli said. “We’re experimenting with different trays, different clamshells, different backs, but it’s all up to really the retail, and we’ve got to get the retail’s response.

“It’s a changing industry,” Cappelli said. “People want to eat healthier, but also people want healthier packaging for the environment, so it’s very important.”

He mentioned that Trader Joe’s — known as an affordable destination for organics — has gotten customer complaints about its use of clamshells. In fact, a Change.org petition for Trader Joe’s to reduce its use of plastic packaging currently has more than 90,000 signatures.

Trader Joe’s wants to make some changes accordingly, Cappelli said.

“They’re looking at their end and they want us to look at our end,” Cappelli said. “It’s all consumer-driven.”


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