AppHarvest names CEA industry veteran Tony Martin Chief Operating Officer
Martin to focus on optimizing production, revenue and costs across AppHarvest four-farm network of 165 acres
MOREHEAD, Ky., Jan. 03, 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 announced today it has named AppHarvest Board Member Tony Martin chief operating officer, effective immediately.
Martin will retain his board seat, and as COO he will lead efforts to optimize production and revenue across the AppHarvest four-farm network that now includes 165 acres under glass.
“I expect Tony’s extensive background in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) and his track record for optimizing the efficiency of core operations and consistently achieving revenue growth will help us accelerate our path to profitability,” said AppHarvest Founder & CEO Jonathan Webb.
“AppHarvest is at an exciting inflection point transitioning from a construction and development mode to an organization focused on core operational excellence,” said Martin. “I believe AppHarvest has a tremendous opportunity to leverage its world-class CEA network at a time when both changing climate and major grocery retailers are demanding it. We’re working to ramp up production and revenue by ensuring efficient, cost-effective delivery of high-quality produce to major grocers and restaurants.”
Martin joined AppHarvest following a nearly 12-year career with Windset Farms, one of the largest CEA producers and marketers of indoor-grown crops in North America with more than 250 acres in the U.S. and Canada. At Windset, he supported both significant infrastructure and revenue growth. Martin has served as a consultant in the CEA sector and is a board member of the Fruit & Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation, a non-profit that sets standards for the trade of fresh fruits and vegetables in Canada.
Martin earned his credential as a chartered professional accountant following a bachelor of commerce in accounting and finance and a graduate diploma in accounting, audit and taxation at Concordia University in Canada.
In what the company believes is the largest simultaneous build out of CEA infrastructure in U.S. history, the company quadrupled the number of farms operating in its network in 2022. The company opened three more 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 featuring a “touchless growing system” with autonomous harvesting. 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. In its third season now, 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 began its harvesting this season ahead of schedule and is growing beefsteak tomatoes, Tomatoes on the Vine and 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., 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,” “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, 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.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/8a17c33d-933a-4f27-b3c0-9d461d43ef15
Media Contact: Darla Turner, Darla.Turner@appharvest.com Investor Contact: AppHarvestIR@appharvest.com