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NatureFresh to build remaining Ohio phases starting in 2018

Canadian greenhouse giant, NatureFresh Farms, known for its tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers, is working on a 12-phase state-of-the-art greenhouse project in Delta, OH. By 2022, the master project plans call for 180 acres to be constructed.

The Ohio facility produces tomatoes — locally grown varieties — in the winter. The goal is to have fresh beefsteak, tomatoes-on-the-vine, and specialty tomatoes year-round.

Phase one began on April 10, 2015, construction on phase two began in January this year, and NatureFresh broke ground for phase three in the spring. The third phase is expected to be up and running in the fall. When all three phases of the Ohio greenhouse facility are completed, it will house 45 acres. The Leamington, Canada, location currently produces on 130 acres. NatureFresh will continue building its remaining phases in the project starting in 2018.

A Sustainable Destination
Why Ohio? Veillon says the location is close to NatureFresh’s key partners in the Midwest such as Wegmans, Kroger, and Heinen’s — to name a few. Plus, Veillon says the Ohio location is within a five-hour drive of densely populated areas, putting NatureFresh’s produce in front of close to 20 million people.

From a sustainability standpoint, the location greatly reduces food miles, fuel consumption, and the tomatoes can carry the locally grown tagline.
Unlike product coming from Mexico, Veillon says NatureFresh can deliver tomatoes to grocery stores within 24 hours of picking. “The end result is consumers can buy locally grown and get flavorful tomatoes — in the winter. The other advantage is that we can leave the tomatoes on the vine longer to maximize flavor, quality, and yield.”

To have product ready to ship year-round, the Ohio greenhouse interplants its tomatoes, which involves adding a new crop behind plants that are currently producing tomatoes. 

Approximately 23,000 cases of tomatoes are picked each week at the Ohio facility. 

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