Mucci Farms Announces 206-Acre North American Expansion
- by Lilian Diep
KINGSVILLE, ONTARIO, CANADA - Mucci Farms is shaking up the greenhouse landscape with the announcement of several major expansion projects. The greenhouse grower recently commenced expansions in Kingsville, Ontario, Canada, and Huron, Ohio. The expansions total 206 acres over the next two years. These investments support its ongoing emphasis on maximizing local and regionally grown fruits and vegetables year-round through expansion and lit culture grow light technology.
“Demand for greenhouse-grown produce is growing rapidly as consumers continue to put pressure on the food industry to prioritize food safety, sustainability, responsible growing practices, and clean growing environments,” said Bert Mucci, Chief Executive Officer.
According to the press release, the first year of expansions will include bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and Mucci Farms' innovative, award-winning greenhouse grown strawberries.
“Our berry program has been a big success, and we believe it’s because of the quality and flavor we are able to provide through a clean growing environment, sustainable growing practices, and our proximity to market,” explained Joe Spano, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Since we aren’t importing from California or Florida, we can maximize sugars by allowing product to be fully ripe before we harvest.”
In the second year of expansions, the grower will be focusing exclusively on bell peppers with a 100-acre expansion to accommodate a growing need for supply in the category.
The release noted Mucci Farms’ bell pepper program will be year-round and is achievable through the company’s innovative lit culture technology.
“We have seen a strong rise in demand for locally grown peppers in recent years, and expanding our own supply reduces our reliance on partner growers and imports,” explained Bert Mucci. “We are currently trialing lit culture grow lights for our pepper program, which will be a game-changer that allows us to grow local peppers 365 days a year.”
Expansion breakdown by acreage and commodity is as listed below:
- 25 acres of tomatoes on-the-vine in Huron, Ohio, the third and final phase of the 75-acre project
- 30 acres of multiple varieties of bell peppers in Kingsville, Canada
- 36 acres of Smuccies™ Sweet Strawberries in Kingsville, doubling the current acreage to a total of 72 acres
- 15 acres of mini-cocktail cucumbers, branded as the award-winning CuteCumber Poppers
- 100 acres of multiple varieties of bell peppers at a new site in Kingsville with construction beginning in 2022
Additional projects include a dedicated research and development facility to be ready in 2021.
“We have over 300 varieties of various commodities being trialed at any given time,” stated Danny Mucci, President of Sales and Marketing. “Consolidating them all into one specific building allows us to be much more thorough and expand our capabilities. Our trial program includes non-traditional, greenhouse-grown items such as zucchinis, blackberries, and melons, and we have a healthy appetite for new innovative varieties.”
This past June, the organization announced the addition of two new warehouse facilities in Romulus, Michigan, and San Antonio, Texas, that will serve as warehouses, distribution centers, and cross docks to increase efficiencies and expand the regions the company can service. Both facilities will be ready in 2021.
A major focus for the company is expanding its winter program through lit culture grow light technology. With aggressive annual expansions, the press release notes, the company has one of the largest acreages of supplemental lighting in the greenhouse industry and continues to expand its acreage year-over-year to maximize local and regional production year-round.
As we eagerly await to see what the greenhouse sector and the fresh produce industry will roll out next, keep checking back to ANUK.