Eurofresh Farms, an Arizona farming operation and the leading producer of greenhouse tomatoes in the U.S., has been honored by the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC) for developing “economically, ecologically and socially sustainable food.”
The company received the center’s 2009 Mission Award from the organizing committee of the Arizona Greenhouse Crop Production and Engineering Design Short Course, an annual 3-day plant science and engineering educational program held in Tucson, AZ. Each year, the committee selects the award recipient for its contributions to the CEAC’s overall mission – finding ways to develop controlled environment agriculture as a sustainable growing option.
Dwight Ferguson, chief executive officer of Eurofresh Farms said, “Without a strong university department leading the way for new and sustainable growing practices, Eurofresh Farms would not be as successful as we are today.
The center’s extensive research and ability to train our industry’s brightest will help us continue to grow and benefit other Arizona Grown farming operations for years to come.”
The agriculture center’s organizing committee attributed Eurofresh Farms’ “successful development of an advanced technology greenhouse for the production of food crops in the relatively harsh climate of Southern Arizona” at their Willcox operation as a major reason behind the award. The committee also cited the development and evolution of Eurofresh Farms’ produce, particularly with the creation of specialty crops like mini-cucumbers and Bella Bites, the farms’ grape tomato produce line.
Gene Giacomelli, Ph.D, director of the UA CEAC, noted that even though Eurofresh Farms is a business and the University of Arizona focuses on education, they have similar goals in creating “prospering food systems.”
“The company’s effort to provide a viable greenhouse system here in Southern Arizona – one of the largest greenhouses in the world – has created internship opportunities for students, positions for graduates and economic development opportunities to the region. Our center’s students and faculty feel Eurofresh Farms should be commended for everything they offer.”
For more information about the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center, visit www.ag.arizona.edu/ceac/.