Company expands crop set into new varietals of premium snacking tomatoes
Company announces planting of 360,000 tomato plants at new 60-acre Richmond, Ky., farm as it works to quadruple number of farms in 2022
MOREHEAD, Ky., Nov. 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AppHarvest, Inc. (NASDAQ: APPH, APPHW), a sustainable food company, public benefit corporation and Certified B Corp building 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 announced today it has kicked off the third season of harvesting ahead of schedule with commercial shipments of tomatoes from its 60-acre high-tech indoor farm in Morehead, Ky.
Martha Stewart, an AppHarvest board member, hosted a press conference for the company’s first harvest of tomatoes in January of 2021. Since that time, the company has opened two additional high-tech indoor farms—a 30-acre farm in Somerset, Ky., for strawberries and cucumbers and a 15-acre farm in Berea, Ky., for salad greens—both of which are currently shipping produce to top national grocery store chains, restaurants and food service outlets through its distributor, Mastronardi Produce. AppHarvest is shipping strawberries under the “WOW® Berries” brand from nearly 1 million strawberry plants and a variety of salad greens for the “Queen of Greens®” washed-and-ready-to-eat salad packs.
As AppHarvest works to quadruple its number of farms in 2022, the company continues construction on a fourth facility, a 60-acre farm in Richmond, Ky., that will grow tomatoes. While finalizing construction, half the Richmond farm has been planted with 360,000 Campari and Maranice varieties of “Tomatoes on the Vine,” which are expected to start harvesting in January of 2023.
“With the experience of two seasons of harvests, the Morehead farm is seeing significantly improved quality and yield, which largely can be attributed to task completion rates of crop care specialists meeting and sometimes exceeding 100% of goal,” said AppHarvest Founder & CEO Jonathan Webb. “We’re developing a tenured workforce and seeing benefits of promoting from within to help drive efficiency and quality from folks who have grown the business with us from the ground up.” The AppHarvest team has continued to enhance training with routine quality checks of crop care tasks, which facilitates quick retraining if needed.
For its third season of harvesting, the AppHarvest Morehead farm has further diversified its crop set adding snacking tomatoes sold under the Sunset brand as “Flavor Bombs®” and “Sugar Bombs®.” Morehead is growing roughly 50% beefsteak tomatoes, 25% Tomatoes on the Vine and 25% snacking tomatoes.
According to USDA reports, the value of U.S. fruit and vegetable imports rose to a record level in 2021 and has been projected to keep increasing in 2022. Changing weather patterns—ranging from mega-drought in the Southwest of the U.S. to more frequent flooding to catastrophic wind events—are making it harder than ever for open-field farmers to predict the duration of their growing seasons and to have conditions that result in a quality harvest. Major food retailers have demonstrated increasing interest in high-tech indoor farms for their ability to de-risk fruit and vegetable production with a more climate-resilient, more sustainable year-round growing solution that uses far fewer resources. Europe, a pioneer in the industry, is estimated to have nearly 520,000 acres of CEA production compared to an estimated 6,000 acres in the United States.
AppHarvest is a sustainable food company in Appalachia developing and operating some of the world’s largest high-tech indoor farms with robotics and artificial intelligence to build a reliable, climate-resilient food system. AppHarvest’s farms are designed to grow produce using sunshine, rainwater and up to 90% less water than open-field growing, all while producing yields up to 30 times that of traditional agriculture and preventing pollution from agricultural runoff. AppHarvest currently operates its 60-acre flagship farm in Morehead, Ky., producing tomatoes, a 15-acre indoor farm for salad greens in Berea, Ky., and a 30-acre farm for strawberries and cucumbers in Somerset, Ky. The company continues construction on a 60-acre indoor farm for tomatoes in Richmond, Ky. The four-farm network that is expected to be operational by the end of 2022 consists of 165 acres. For more information, visit https://www.appharvest.com/.
Certain statements included in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally are accompanied by words or phrases such as “will,” “estimate,” “work to,” “continue,” “expect,” “plan,” and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. All statements, other than statements of present or historical fact included in this news release, regarding AppHarvest’s intention to build high-tech CEA farms, AppHarvest’s expectation of the landscape of the fruit and vegetables market, the economic impact of changing weather patterns on production for open-field farmers, the anticipated benefits of and production at such facilities, timing and availability of produce, AppHarvest’s future financial performance, AppHarvest’s growth and evolving business plans and strategy, ability to capitalize on commercial opportunities, future operations, estimated financial position and cash flow, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this news release, and on the current expectations of AppHarvest’s management and are not predictions of actual performance. These forward-looking statements are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to serve as, and must not be relied on as, a guarantee, an assurance, a prediction, or a definitive statement of fact or probability. Actual events and circumstances are difficult or impossible to predict and will differ from assumptions. Many actual events and circumstances are beyond the control of AppHarvest. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including those discussed in the company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC by AppHarvest on Nov. 7, 2022, under the heading “Risk Factors,” and other documents AppHarvest has filed, or that AppHarvest will file, with the SEC. If any of these risks materialize or our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. In addition, forward-looking statements reflect AppHarvest’s expectations, plans, or forecasts of future events and views as of the date of this press release. AppHarvest anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its assessments to change. However, while AppHarvest may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, AppHarvest specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing AppHarvest’s assessments of any date subsequent to the date of this news release. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed upon the forward-looking statements.
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