The new 280,000 sq. ft. farm located in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, will deliver over two million pounds of fresh, local produce year-round in Pennsylvania and the tri-state area (New York New Jersey, and Connecticut). BrightFarms will create over 50 jobs in Selinsgrove, each paying a living wage with health benefits.
Pennsylvania retail chain GIANT will carry BrightFarms salad at all 181 store locations.
“Building this new farm enables us to keep pace with growing demand for local produce in supermarkets in the region. We are grateful to the state of Pennsylvania and to our loyal grocery store partners, like GIANT, who have been at the forefront of the local produce movement,” said Steve Platt, CEO of BrightFarms. By growing close to its consumers, BrightFarms delivers pesticide-free produce in as little as 24 hours of harvest.
According to the Organic Produce Network, packaged salads have registered strong sales growth in recent years, particularly in the organic category where it counts for nearly 20% of all organic produce sales in 2019. FMI's Power of Produce noted, "More than half of shoppers are looking for an expanded local or seasonal assortment and one-third want to see more organic, non-GMO and sustainably-grown produce."
FMI also revealed that consumer perceptions of taste and quality of hydroponic- and greenhouse-grown produce is largely positive. "The majority also believe hydroponic growing can qualify as organically- or locally-grown. Shopper education is likely to benefit the already positive perception," said FMI.
In addition to Pennsylvania, the company has greenhouse farms in Ohio, Illinois, and Virginia and plans to open its next greenhouse in North Carolina.