Pikeville, KY– Aug 1, 2017 – Jonathan Webb’s vision of bringing a renewed economic boom to the Appalachians looks to be bright. Wisely he has brought in the industry pioneer and expert to launch his mountain top greenhouse in the heart of America.
Agricultural startup AppHarvest, and Mastronardi Produce Ltd., North America’s leading grower and distributor of specialty and commodity greenhouse produce that operates under the SUNSET® brand, today announced that they have partnered to help develop high-tech 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,” said Paul Mastronardi, President and CEO of Mastronardi Produce. “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.”
AppHarvest Founder and CEO, Jonathan Webb, said his team is committed to bringing the high-tech greenhouse industry to the heart of coal country and believes that Mastronardi is the perfect partner. “We believe that Mastronardi Produce has the most talented and successful greenhouse team in the world and their SUNSET® brand is one of the top brands in produce today. Our partnership with them will set us up for success and allow us to build a scalable model in the region.”
“Jonathan has identified terrific pieces of land to erect the facilities and secured enormous support throughout the region. His dedication to this project is unmatchable.” Mastronardi stated.
Over 10,000 jobs have been lost in Eastern Kentucky since the decline of coal. “The spirit of the region is unmatched and we want to work alongside those hardworking men and women,” Webb said. “Our goal is to provide economic development and opportunity for this region.” The first project announced is in Eastern Kentucky on top of a reclaimed coal mine site and will be a 1.8 million square ft state of the art glass greenhouse.
Webb stated that “as a gateway between the Midwest and South, Kentucky’s borders lie within a day’s drive of 65 percent of the US population and income. Building near these markets will significantly reduce transportation costs and will provide a much need local produce option for these regions.” Mastronardi will be the exclusive marketer for AppHarvest.