More Appalachia updates in the news! Ontario’s Mastronardi Produce, the fourth-generation family-owned business that pioneered commercial greenhouse growing in North America, has expanded its U.S. network with two Kentucky greenhouse facilities formerly owned by AppHarvest, which filed for bankruptcy in July. Located in Richmond and Morehead, Kentucky, the high-tech additions to Mastronardi’s growing farm network together represent 120 acres of fully lit production.
AppHarvest’s longtime backer Equilibrium originally purchased the Richmond and Morehead farms from the company after submitting the winning bid for the facilities as part of AppHarvest’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. A Mastronardi spokesperson confirms Equilibrium has now entered long-term lease agreements with separate Kentucky tenant operators who are wholly owned Mastronardi subsidiaries. Mastonardi will now take the farms into their next chapter, anticipated to be both productive and profitable.
“We are very proud to keep the Morehead and Richmond facilities online and to grow with the teams there,” said Paul Mastronardi, President & CEO of Mastronardi Produce Ltd. “It is a privilege to continue to serve this region through sustainable farming, providing local jobs in Appalachia and nutritious food across the US.”
Farm employees welcomed to the Flavor Nation family
The Mastronardi family’s rich history of leadership transcends commercial greenhouse development to embrace the employees that help make the company’s growth both possible and lasting. The company spokesperson confirms that farm employees were offered employment and most have been retained.
“As leaders in commercial greenhouse growing, we’re invested in expanding both productive capacity in the industry and employment opportunities for workers,” added Paul Mastronardi. “We look forward to providing employees opportunities to continue their careers in the industry and also to grow within our Flavor Nation family.”
Mastronardi Produce has already set up a support team to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of operations for employees at Morehead and Richmond.
Mastronardi previously acquired the former AppHarvest farm in Berea, Kentucky. The Berea facility transaction is completed. Mastronardi Berea LLC is in lawful possession, owns and operates the Berea leafy green facility.
Images courtesy of Mastronardi Produce Ltd.