US – Ever Tru Farms, an Ontario-based indoor hydroponic strawberry farm, has expanded to the US markets by acquiring AppHarvest’s vast 30-acre berry farm through a collaboration with Bosch Growers.
Paul J. Mastronardi, Director of Sales for Ever Tru Farms, emphasized the farm’s commitment to cultivate the most exceptional berries in the US, ensuring quality supply of the berries.
“We are excited to introduce locally grown greenhouse strawberries to the US market, with a particular focus on the winter months, although their availability extends well beyond just the winter season,” he shared.
He then added that cultivating indoors is their biggest advantage since it ensures a more consistent and reliable supply of high-quality strawberries for retailers and a year-round availability for consumers.
“Greenhouse horticulture presents a highly favorable solution, albeit one demanding expertise and unwavering dedication; it’s not a one-size-fits-all endeavor.” van den Bosch explained.
The collaboration is set to benefit from the strategic geographical position of the newly acquired farm.
AppHarvest’s operations are based in Kentucky, which is within a few hours of major transportation hubs operated by shipping companies such as UPS, FedEx, and DHL.
Given this proximity Ever Tru Farms will be closer to customers and within a one-day drive to 70% of the US population.
Furthermore, their entry season to the US markets is quite favorable given the current consumer behavior and local market in regards to strawberries.
According to a report by Statistica, 94% of US households consume strawberries. This accounts for an annual per capita consumption of fresh and frozen strawberries of 4.85 pounds.
A USDA report recently revealed that Berry imports in the U.S. are at an all-time high, and organic strawberry production is ramping up, outpacing the growth of conventional strawberries.
In 2020, for instance, the U.S. witnessed a record high of 431 million pounds of fresh strawberries imported from Mexico.
In another report by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the United States had a utilized production of 26.7 million hundredweight of strawberries valued at more than USD 3.42 billion in 2021.
The utilized production for fresh market strawberries was 21.7 million hundredweight and the average grower price for fresh strawberries was USD 143/hundredweight.
The collaboration is thus poised to meet the surging demand for strawberries in the country while setting the stage for a more sustainable approach to strawberry production.
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