Mucci Farms' Director of Sales, Steve Zaccardi, Dishes on Winter Program Filling Gaps in Market
KINGSVILLE, ONTARIO, CANADA - Although I’m not attending this year’s Southern Exposure, put on by the Southeast Produce Council (SEPC), the innovative companies attending already have me champing at the bit to learn all about new programs and more. To find out about one such innovative company, Mucci Farms, and its current plans to wow the industry at the show, I spoke with Steve Zaccardi, Director of Sales.
We kicked off our conversation by talking about the greenhouse grower’s current winter program and how it ensures consistency during gaps in the market.
“Our winter program allows us to grow certain products 365 days per year by using grow lights,” he noted. “Many retailers often have to supply their consumers with foreign-grown product during off-season so we invest heavily in technology that maximizes production close to home. We reduce the dependency on foreign product which greatly helps with quality and consistency as you’re getting the same products from the same farms whether it’s July or December.”
With its climate-controlled greenhouses, Mucci Farms can create identical and ideal growing conditions for its plants so there is no drop off in flavor or quality.
“With foreign supply, in the past all we had to worry about was weather and logistics. Today, the produce industry also has to consider disease pressures, a new—and likely to get more complicated—suspension agreement and border inspection agencies that are still navigating their way through new procedures,” Steve explained when I asked him for examples of Mucci’s supreme retail support. “To combat these new realities, we have a big picture vision with significant expansion plans in place to provide solutions to these challenges. Our winter program was able to fill some of the voids in what was a very volatile market this winter.”
On top of filling in those voids, the company has been driving sustainability initiatives in order to reduce its carbon footprint.
“Off season production truly helps us drive sustainability because it reduces food miles allowing us to deliver product earlier in the aging process, so consumers can enjoy products for a longer period of time, which maximizes shelf life and lowers our impact on the environment,” Steve noted. “We believe that consumers getting to see local and regionally grown produce in the winter months is as impactful as you can get as a supplier.”
To learn more about Mucci Farms’ winter program, sustainability initiatives, and more, visit the grower at booth #301 at SEPC Southern Exposure.