Longtime fast food giant Wendy’s has announced a new initiative to source vine-ripened tomatoes for its North American restaurants exclusively from greenhouse-growing operations by early 2019. The Central Ohio-based company says the move is part of an ongoing mission to procure fresh, high-quality produce for consumption.
According to Wendy’s, its new tomato supply will be grown in indoor greenhouse and hydroponic farms from roughly a dozen suppliers throughout North America. Nearly all the greenhouse tomatoes will be sourced from the U.S. and Canada.
“We’re making this change for a variety of reasons that will benefit our customers, but taste and quality are the top factors,” stated Dennis Hecker, Senior VP of Quality Assurance for Wendy’s.
Wendy’s cites greenhouse growing can and will support local economies by sustaining the agricultural workforce with fresh produce that can be grown in more comfortable, indoor environments. The company also points to possible economic opportunities for regions that previously have been unable to support year-round agriculture production due to geography and climate.
As Wendy’s transitions to its new protected culture-based tomato supply, it expects to see social and environmental sustainability benefits about which it plans to communicate regularly to the public. Among the additional expected benefits is the significant reduction of chemical pesticide use, as well as water and land use benefits.