AppHarvest begins commercial shipments from first harvest at new Richmond, Ky., 60-acre high-tech indoor farm
All four farms in the AppHarvest network are now commercially shipping tomatoes, strawberries and salad greens to top retailers, restaurants and foodservice outlets
AppHarvest Somerset will plant long English cucumbers in advance of the seasonal summer refresh of strawberry plants
MOREHEAD, Ky., Jan. 18, 2023 (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, today announced it has started commercial shipments from its first harvest of tomatoes at its new 60-acre high-tech indoor farm in Richmond, Ky. This marks the first time ever that all facilities in the AppHarvest four-farm network are shipping to top national grocery store chains, restaurants and foodservice outlets under a variety of brands for Mastronardi Produce.
The opening of AppHarvest Richmond last December delivered on the company’s commitment to quadruple the number of farms operating in its network by the end of 2022, in what the company believes is the largest simultaneous build out of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) infrastructure in U.S. history. With this milestone, the company is moving from a focus on construction and development to the next phase of the business focused on operations. On January 3, 2023, AppHarvest named CEA industry veteran and AppHarvest Board Member Tony Martin as Chief Operating Officer to leverage his extensive background in CEA. Martin is working to optimize production, revenue and costs across the AppHarvest four-farm network totaling 165 acres under glass.
AppHarvest Richmond, the 60-acre high-tech indoor farm growing tomatoes in Richmond, Ky., is harvesting and shipping from its first growing season of Campari and Maranice varieties of “Tomatoes on the Vine.” Opening in a two-phased approach, the second 30-acres in Richmond is expected to be planted later in 2023. With AppHarvest Morehead, the company expects to grow nearly 1.5 million tomato plants across the combined 120 acres.
Located in Berea, Ky., this 15-acre salad greens farm is believed to be the world’s largest high-tech indoor farm for autonomously harvested salad greens featuring a “touchless growing system.” AppHarvest Berea is designed to grow about 35 million lettuce plants at a time and is a supplier of the “Queen of Greens®” washed-and-ready-to-eat salad greens. On December 27, 2022, AppHarvest announced the completion of a $127 million sale-leaseback of the Berea farm to Mastronardi Berea LLC, a joint venture between Mastronardi Produce and COFRA Holding. Mastronardi Produce is AppHarvest’s exclusive marketing and distribution partner.
The 30-acre high-tech indoor farm in Somerset, Ky., is shipping strawberries under the “WOW® Berries” brand for AppHarvest customer, Mastronardi Produce. AppHarvest Somerset is designed to grow nearly one million strawberry plants at a time, which are expected to produce for about eight months of the year. The crop is expected to alternate seasonally with long English cucumbers. In advance of the seasonal summer refresh for strawberries, the Somerset farm is expected to plant multiple acres of cucumbers to kick off its initial cucumber crop.
AppHarvest Morehead, the 60-acre flagship farm in Morehead, Ky., kicked off its third season of harvesting ahead of schedule and is growing beefsteak tomatoes, Tomatoes on the Vine and snacking tomatoes. The Morehead farm has further diversified its crop set adding new varietals of premium snacking tomatoes sold under the Sunset brand as “Flavor Bombs®” and “Sugar Bombs®.”
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., a 30-acre farm for strawberries and cucumbers in Somerset, Ky., and a 60-acre farm in Richmond, Ky., for tomatoes. The four-farm network consists of 165 acres under glass. 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,” “believe,” “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 controlled environment agriculture facilities, timing and availability of produce, the expected timing of planting and harvesting, AppHarvest’s future financial performance and profitability, 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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Media Contact: Darla Turner, Darla.Turner@appharvest.com Investor Contact: AppHarvestIR@appharvest.com