AppHarvest ships its first tomatoes at its new 60-acre high-tech indoor farm in Richmond, Kentucky. This marks the first time that all facilities in the AppHarvest four-farm network are shipping to top national grocery store chains, restaurants, and food service outlets under a variety of brands for Mastronardi Produce.
The opening of AppHarvest Richmond last December delivered on the company’s commitment to quadruple the number of farms operating in its network by the end of 2022, in what the company believes is the largest simultaneous build-out of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) infrastructure in the U.S. history. This milestone marks a shift for the company, moving from a focus on construction and development to the next phase of the business focused on operations.
In recognition of this shift, AppHarvest named CEA industry veteran and AppHarvest Board Member Tony Martin as Chief Operating Officer on January 3, 2023. Martin, with his extensive background in CEA, will work to optimize production, revenue, and costs across the AppHarvest four-farm network, which now totals 165 acres under glass.
AppHarvest’s mission is to build some of the world’s largest high-tech indoor farms to grow affordable, nutritious fruits and vegetables at scale while providing good jobs in Appalachia. The company is committed to creating a sustainable food system and is proud to be a public benefit corporation and a Certified B Corp. With the shipment of its first tomatoes, AppHarvest has taken a major step towards achieving its goals and is excited to continue to expand its operations and bring fresh, sustainable produce to consumers across the country.
AppHarvest has several facilities currently operating in its network. AppHarvest Richmond, a 60-acre high-tech indoor farm growing tomatoes in Richmond, Kentucky (The facility from which AppHarvest shipped its first tomatoes), is harvesting and shipping from its first growing season of Campari and Maranice varieties of “Tomatoes on the Vine.” The second 30 acres in Richmond are expected to be planted later in 2023 and with AppHarvest Morehead, the company expects to grow nearly 1.5 million tomato plants across the combined 120 acres.
AppHarvest Berea is located in Berea, Kentucky, it is a 15-acre salad greens farm, believed to be the world’s largest high-tech indoor farm for autonomously harvested salad greens, featuring a “touchless growing system.” AppHarvest Berea is designed to grow about 35 million lettuce plants at a time and is a supplier of the “Queen of Greens®” washed-and-ready-to-eat salad greens.
AppHarvest Somerset, a 30-acre high-tech indoor farm in Somerset, Kentucky, is shipping strawberries under the “WOW® Berries” brand for AppHarvest customers, Mastronardi Produce. AppHarvest Somerset is designed to grow nearly one million strawberry plants at a time, which are expected to produce for about eight months of the year.
Finally, AppHarvest Morehead, the 60-acre flagship farm in Morehead, Kentucky, kicked off its third season of harvesting ahead of schedule and is growing beefsteak tomatoes, Tomatoes on the Vine and snacking tomatoes. The Morehead farm has further diversified its crop set adding new varietals of premium snacking tomatoes sold under the Sunset brand as “Flavor Bombs®” and “Sugar Bombs®.”
Image provided by AppHarvest
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