Rice Fruit celebrates 110 years
The fresh produce industry is made of a patchwork of family narratives, stories stitched together by a generation of people making a life for themselves in America. These founding farmers took what they knew from their homeland and created a legacy that continues to this day. Rice Fruit Co. is one of those stories.
Daniel Rice, a young German immigrant, arrived in Adams County, PA, in the 1790s. Like other small farmers in the area, Rice and his descendants farmed many crops, but soon came to realize that the microclimates of the easternmost ridge of the Appalachians were perfect for cultivating apples. In 1913, Arthur Rice built their first packing house in Biglerville, PA. And the rest, as they say, is history.
In the 100-plus years that Rice Fruit Co. has been in business, it has remained steadfast in its commitment to nurturing and growing some of the best apples on the East Coast, but also in developing relationships, embracing innovation, and utilizing the best technology for packing and shipping apples.
In addition to the commitment to its business sustainability, in the past 10 years Rice Fruit has also committed to environmental protection and sustainability. Beginning first with a green roof on a controlled atmosphere storage building, then solar panels, the company recently began a pilot project featuring a pollinator garden behind the packing facility.
Protecting the environment and nurturing the habitats of pollinator insects is paramount in a business that directly relies on pollination of its crop for a successful season.
“When we take the thoughtful and necessary steps to ensure our local ecosystems, we are laying the groundwork for the success of our future generations,” said Ben Rice, president of Rice Fruit. “Our 200th birthday is just 90 years away.”