MightyVine, a glasshouse tomato producer in Rochelle, Illinois, is being acquired by Plant Agricultural Systems, an infrastructure service provider delivering infrastructure to support localized fresh produce demand in all regions.
“Plant and MightyVine share a common goal of providing consumers with access to the highest quality produce available,” said Jim Murphy, founder of MightyVine. “Additionally, we believe that the resources and technology that exist within the Plant ecosystem offer innovative and effective solutions to the challenges facing our food systems today.”
Murphy explained that MightyVine was not for sale when approached by Plant. However, the companies realized their shared vision would be a good fit for the industry.
Over the next several months, what Plant refers to as the “active production site” transition will be completed at the Rochelle facility, enhancing MightyVine’s production quality and capacity to serve the greater Chicago market. This will transform the 30-acre site into a modern data center.
Production technicians will be supported by AI processing an array of crop-cycle data for vine crops. Workers will also leverage the supply chain data platform on which Plant’s products are developed and delivered to consumers through IBM’s blockchain-supported systems.
Rochelle will be the first piece of Plant’s more than 1,000-acre-footprint serving the Midwest as a part of phase-1 development. This comes ahead of the previously announced Northeast Florida site, where Plant is deploying about $1 billion in capital investment for development of production facilities serving the Southeast.
Members of the MightyVine production team, including CEO Sergio Gomez and the veteran production team of Alfredo Torres and Javier Torres, will remain in their roles with MightyVine.
“Plant has a very sophisticated point of view of the marketplace as a whole, unlike any I have seen,” Gomez said. “They have amassed an impressive array of strategic partners and industry experts and have a thoughtful approach to the people behind the production.”
Karim Giscombe, Plant Agricultural Systems chairman and CEO, who has been championing the need for systemic adoption of Controlled Environment Agriculture at the federal government level, said, “The acquisition of MightyVine is a strategic transaction that is more about a broader solution than simply being a stand-alone business opportunity.”
Consumers should expect the transition to be complete in early 2023 with the enhanced product to be available in market during the summertime.