J&J Family of Farms ("J&J"), a Florida-based grower, packer and shipper of field-grown vegetable commodities and value-added produce, announced strategic infrastructure investments and new grower relationships that further expand its capacity to deliver premium quality produce throughout the year to retail and foodservice customers.
With over 10,000 acres of farmland already under management and multiple packing and cooling facilities across North America, J&J has acquired another 1,000 acres of agricultural land near Vero Beach, Florida to support its growth. In addition to being prepared to grow a significant volume of sweet and hot peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers and eggplant for commercial distribution, this land will house a new research and development facility and a dedicated area for seed variety trials.
J&J has made sustainability a key design element at the new facility, including investing in infrastructure to support drip irrigation and precision nutrient and crop protection application. Drip irrigation can increase water use efficiency by up to 70 percent and cut down energy costs by as much as 50 percent.
These enhancements, and agronomic data and insights gathered at the new facility, will help to inform future innovation and expanded best practices for environmental conservation, and position J&J to develop and deliver differentiated products that meet growing consumer demand for delicious and healthy fresh food with a lower environmental impact.
Additionally, J&J also welcomed new dry vegetable and watermelon growers to its network across five states, adding more than 1,000 additional acres to the company's contracted production capacity.
"For nearly 40 years, J&J has stayed at the forefront of an ever-changing industry by taking care of our people and the land. Now, at a time of accelerating growth for the company, we are proud to further deepen our commitment to those values," said Jim Gallagher, President of J&J.
"Consumer interest in adopting plant-forward diets to support health and well-being, not only for themselves but for the planet, is at an all-time high. The future of produce lies in unlocking innovation that delivers new attributes, like reduced sugar and increased nutrient density, alongside improved sustainability, transparency and consumer experience. Today's announcement is an important next step in our growth plan and positions J&J to deliver the differentiation our customers need to respond to consumer demand."
J&J is a wholly owned subsidiary of Benson Hill, a food tech company unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants with its cutting-edge food innovation engine, CropOS™. Today's announcement is a part of Benson Hill's recently-announced plans to enhance J&J's operations with breeding and testing sites, expanded processing and distribution capacity and sustainability best practices across J&J's grower base.
Benson Hill's CropOS™ platform has the potential to deliver the next wave of innovation opportunity in fresh produce. Combined with J&J's extensive grower base, distribution network and retail relationships, which are further strengthened by today's announcement, Benson Hill is well-positioned to execute on the development and ultimately the commercialization of differentiated produce and "functional foods," with the potential to serve the growing convergence between the produce and pharmacy aisles.
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J&J Family of Farms