Hapco Farms expands Florida acreage
Bucking a trend that reveals a decrease in the amount of land in the United States devoted to agriculture as well as a decline in the number of farms in the U.S., Fresh from the Start has acquired an additional 6,000 acres of land in O’Brien, FL, with plans to increase volume of some of its key crops.
Eric Scannelli, senior vice president of Hapco Farms, which along with Freshouse distributes Fresh from the Start branded product, said the company entered into a long-term lease agreement for the 6,000 plantable acres in O’Brien, located in northern Florida, midway between Tallahassee and Jacksonville.
“Our long-term plan and commitment is to continue to expand our acreage and to grow both organically and through partnerships,” said Scannelli. “The decision is based on us continuing to be the grower for our key commodities and expand our growing capacity where we can.”
Hapco Farms is currently farming on this new acreage and commodities include potatoes, broccoli, corn, cauliflower, watermelon, onions and green beans.
Along with this acreage, they are expanding their packing and consolidation facility at the farm. “This new packing facility allows us to see the process through from growing and harvesting to packing and distribution,” Scannelli said.
Scannelli said that additional staff has been directed to this location for day-to-day operations, and members of senior management from Hapco Farms are onsite overseeing the operation.
“We are excited to extend the Fresh from the Start brand and continue to offer our customers a steady supply of fresh product,” Scannelli added.