BrightFarms, the No. 1 brand of locally grown packaged salads, will expand into North Carolina with a new 280,000-s.f. hydroponic greenhouse in Hendersonville. Once complete, the farm will create 54 “green-collar” sustainable agriculture jobs that all pay a living wage and offer industry-leading health benefits and training.
The new greenhouse will grow a variety of salad greens and herbs including spring mix, spinach, baby kale, romaine, arugula and a variety of other greens not typically seen in traditional supermarkets.
By growing produce close to its consumers, BrightFarms delivers its local, pesticide-free baby greens to supermarkets in as little as 24 hours of harvest, about a week faster than leafy greens grown on the West Coast. The company says by growing indoors, the farms create ideal growing environments for plants to thrive and to maximize food safety.
The new greenhouse will add to BrightFarms’ network of local, sustainable greenhouse farms and will serve local markets including Charlotte and Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Greenville and Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Atlanta. Farms in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois already are in operation.
“Today’s consumers are searching for produce that’s fresher, safer and responsibly grown. It’s the reason that locally grown food has become the No. 1 purchase driver in produce for supermarkets,” said Steve Platt, BrightFarms CEO. “We are incredibly grateful for the support from Gov. Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Commerce and look forward to bringing local, pesticide-free leafy greens to North Carolina and neighboring states.”
“This is exciting news for Henderson County,” said North Carolina Sen. Chuck Edwards. “We welcome BrightFarms’ new jobs and investment to Appalachia’s agricultural community.”
“BrightFarms has made a tremendous investment in our state,” said North Carolina Rep. Jake Johnson. “I know they will be very successful in Henderson County and the workforce is ready to support them.”
In addition to the North Carolina Commerce and Economic Development Partnership, key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Community College System, Blue Ridge Community College, Henderson County, Agribusiness Henderson County, City of Hendersonville and Conserving Carolina.