Kingsville, Ontario-based Mastronardi Produce Ltd. has partnered with AppHarvest, an agriculture startup, to build greenhouses in the Kentucky and West Virginia Appalachian region.
“We are very excited to be partnering with AppHarvest and to support their plan of bringing high-tech greenhouse jobs to this Appalachian region and fresh, local year-round produce to key markets,” Paul Mastronardi, president and CEO of Mastronardi, said in a news release.
“AppHarvest shares our passion for developing local communities and our commitment to providing ‘fresh from the farm’ produce to our customers that we believe is critically important to our success,” he said.
Mastronardi, which markets its produce under the Sunset brand, and AppHarvest’s first proposal is a 1.8 million-square-foot greenhouse in Eastern Kentucky, according to the release, which will be on the site of an old coal mine.
“Jonathan has identified terrific pieces of land to erect the facilities and secured enormous support throughout the region,” Mastronardi said in the release.
Jonathan Webb, AppHarvest founder and CEO, wants to bring the greenhouses to coal country because of the more than 10,000 jobs lost due to that industry’s decline, according to the release. “Our goal is to provide economic development and opportunity for this region,” he said.
Mastronardi will be the exclusive marketer for AppHarvest.