Mucci Farms' Joe Spano Discusses Winter Program
KINGSVILLE, ONTARIO - A lot can happen in just a few months time—for Mucci Farms it is the bridge from a “seasonal” grower to “year-round.”
“The standard growing season for greenhouse growers in cold climate regions is typically in the 8-9 month range yearly. Our Winter Program allows us to extend that season to 12 months,” says Joe Spano, Vice President of Sales & Marketing.
In addition to a global network of over 1000 acres, the company owns and operates nearly 250 acres of tomato, pepper, cucumber, lettuce, and strawberry greenhouses, of which, Spano explains, about 100 acres are under grow lights.
“We continue to aggressively expand our grow light acreage and encourage our grower partners to do the same," he says. "Our goal is to have all of our high-tech glass facilities ‘under lights’ in the near future.”
“Our winter program has helped us accommodate today’s increased demands for local production,” he explains. “Every generation raises the emphasis on where their food comes from, and today’s young generation is no different as they are particularly invested in the concept of local, as they care about locally grown products for more reasons than geography.”
The company notes that today’s young demographics, in particular, associate locally-grown fresh produce with environmental responsibility, local employment along the supply chain, food safety and traceability, as well as a sense of pride and obligation to support local companies.
Additional advantages grow lights offer include:
- Consistent year-round supply
- Consistent quality of product
- Ability to accurately forecast product supply
- Less travel miles, ensuring longer shelf-life and reducing shrink
“Retailers partnering with us can expect to work with a vertically-integrated company that takes care of each end of the process. Our goal is to work in partnership with our clients rather than have a transactional relationship," Joe says. "We consider all our clients ‘partners in produce’ as we partner on numerous research and development initiatives for products, food safety, sustainability, and logistics in order to have efficient long-term success together.”
Mucci Farms also has an in-house marketing team that can create in-store signage, partner on social media campaigns, and perform in-store demos to help promote greenhouse products.
I could close by informing our readers that Mucci Farms is currently promoting tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, peppers, and lettuce but, as we’ve covered, that’s a year-round business for the team thanks to its winter program! With a goal to have grow lights in 100% of its high-tech glass greenhouses, and an aggressive expansion in the works, keep an eye on out for more news from this ever-innovating company.