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California Tomato Farmers

Let’s talk tomatoes: Meet our tomato farmers


We were founded in 1869 when Abraham Anderson, a commercial canner and packer, partnered with Joseph Campbell, a fruit and vegetable wholesaler. Anderson wanted to work with Campbell because of his close connection with local farmers. He believed that high quality fruits and vegetables meant a higher quality product.

Over 150 years later, we stand by Anderson’s belief and continue to maintain close partnerships with our farmers. Meet a few who play a critical role in our business today: growing tomatoes for your favorite Campbell’s and Pacific soups, Prego sauces, and Pace salsas.

Ken Aoki poses by barn door
Ken Aoki of Y Aoki Farms, Inc.

Ken Aoki, Y Aoki Farms, Inc.

Ken Aoki went to college thinking he would become an engineer or doctor, but he just couldn’t stay away from his family’s business. He changed his major to agriculture and decided to become a farmer like his father and grandfather.  

Today, that same family farm, Y Aoki Farms, grows a variety of crops including almonds, corn, wheat, and sunflowers. About three-fourths of their land is dedicated to tomatoes, and we’ve been proud customers since the 1950s.

Ken and his family have also been great environmental stewards. They were early adopters of drip-irrigation practices that use less water, and they continue to try new sustainable practices.

“Farming is rewarding because every day you are taking care of something, and we’ve always known it’s important to take care of our soil.”

– Ken Aoki

As for his favorite tomato product, Ken is a big fan of Campbell’s Creamy Tomato Soup. His expert tip? Adding some Worcestershire sauce and Italian seasoning!

Bruce Rominger poses by Campbell Tomato soup sign
Bruce Rominger of Rominger Brothers Farm

Bruce Rominger, Rominger Brothers Farms

Bruce Rominger is no stranger to farming. His family has been growing in Yolo County, California since the 1870s. And they’ve been growing tomatoes for us since 1984.

His personal Campbell connection goes back to his childhood. A family friend of Bruce worked for us back in the 1960s and 1970s, and he remembers getting Campbell t-shirts and even visiting our plant in Napoleon, Ohio in 1970!

Bruce is also an example of environmental stewardship in action. His farm has worked hard to minimize water use through soil moisture sensors, data modeling, and drip irrigation systems. These steps help to deliver crops just the right amount of water at the right place and time.

Today, when Bruce isn’t growing tomatoes, he gives tours of his farm to help show people what agriculture looks like and how important the job is. The job also has some great perks, including fresh tomatoes off the vine every morning. This is to “taste-test” his product, although Bruce jokes that it’s just his excuse!

“I eat tomatoes every day during the season right off the vine. All the time. I’ve never gotten tired of them.”

– Bruce Rominger
Blake and Ethan Harlan
Blake Harlan of Harlan Family Ranch pictured with his son, Ethan

Blake Harlan, Harlan Family Ranch

Blake Harlan’s family began farming in Yolo County, California in 1853. Six generations later, they are still operating in the same county.

His grandfather began growing tomatoes in 1932 and started supplying us with tomatoes in the 1980s.

Today, Blake continues in his family’s footsteps and is always looking to improve the farm. Over the years, he has found ways to conserve water by adopting improved irrigation technology, and the farm now has two solar fields that offset the electrical use of their agricultural wells, offices, and homes. Blake also uses a variety of regenerative practices, including applying organic fertilizer and cover crops to build soil health.

“I think people realize how hard we work to grow their food. What I think is more important, and what they don’t realize, is just how much we care.”

– Blake Harlan

His favorite tomato snack? A tomato sandwich—two thickly sliced tomatoes with meat in the middle!

While a lot has changed over the last century, one thing has not: Our farmers work hard every day to grow our food. We’re grateful to Ken, Bruce, and Blake for providing us the best and tastiest tomatoes possible. Now, who wants some Campbell’s Tomato Soup?


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