Rio Fresh continues to innovate its packing shed and growing practices, and strives to stay abreast of the newest, safest and most sustainable methods to grow, pack and ship the freshest produce to customers. Farm Manager, Fred Schuster says, “One example of our commitment to sustainability is the widespread use of drip tape on our farm. This, coupled with laser-leveled fields conserves water and costs at a staggering rate. We understand that we are stewards of the resources we have, and we aim to operate as such with the utmost care.”
Rio Fresh recently built a new onion packing facility, complete with state-of-the- art machinery that allows it to streamline processes and maximize packing efficiency and output. As a result, the company’s onion business has grown exponentially.
The company also invested in new technology that cools product more quickly, increasing shelf life and decreasing product damage due to heat. Sales representative Taylor Schuster says, “We also field pack our greens more often, which reduces costs and water usage, while lessening food safety concerns.” Rio Fresh’s Primus-GFS certified packing facility is located right on the farm enabling the company to efficiently pack products and maximize shelf-life. Sales representative Mike Morley adds, “Our goal is to harvest based on our customers’ immediate needs to ensure we get the freshest produce to them as quickly as possible.”
The Carl Schuster family is proud to be one of the oldest family farming and packing operations in south Texas. Currently, twelve second- and third-generation family members work on the farm or at the packaging shed, and they intend to pass the operation on to the fourth-generation.