Kingsville, Ontario-based Mastronardi Produce and Morehead, Ky.-based AppHarvest are partnering to build a sustainable, high-tech 60-acre greenhouse in Morehead.
“This is a significant milestone for Kentucky’s farming and food sectors,” Paul Mastronardi, president and CEO of Mastronardi Produce, said in a news release.
The new build represents the first phase of AppHarvest founder and CEO Jonathan Webb’s vision to stoke the region’s economy, which took a major hit with the decline of coal. It will create a year-round supply of Sunset tomatoes and cucumbers.
Both companies have a commitment to developing communities, so the location was made with that value in mind, according to the release.
“This greenhouse will be a source of opportunity, optimism and prosperity for the entire Appalachian region,” Webb said in the release.
The partnership will give Mastronardi Produce’s Sunset brand regional access to retailers in Kentucky and surrounding states — Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia — within hours of being harvested, according to the release.
“We believe everyone should be able to buy fresh vegetables,” Mastronardi said in the release.
The company leaders expect the first harvest to hit stores in 2020.