1st Quality Produce, Fresno, Calif., announced plans to expand its newly remodeled facility to grow its own brand of heirloom tomatoes and other vegetables. A quarter of an acre open lot will house the vegetables, while a hothouse located next to the field will house the seedlings and transplants.
“Not only is this a project to continue what we do best, but [is also] an opportunity to grow with our community,” says Melissa Steward, director of marketing. “We will be inviting local schools to visit us for educational purposes, so children can get directly involved with where their food comes from.”
The 35,000-square-foot custom processing facility is capable of producing over 60,000 pounds of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables per day. A new water recycling process will gather the wastewater from the processing facility’s rinse tanks to be used for the new crops and hothouse.
“A drip system is being installed to avoid wasted water,” adds Mike Kahaian, chief executive officer. “We eventually will not have to use any additional water from the city once our processing facility’s water recycling process is completed.”
This project is expected to be completed in March. In April 2015, 1st Quality Produce expanded the fresh-cut facility, what is said to be the largest fresh-cut produce processing facility in California.