PENNSYLVANIA — Governor Tom Wolf announced that Crop One is opening a vertical farm in Hazle Township, Luzerne County, bringing 40 new full-time managerial and farm production jobs to the region.
“Pennsylvania has a lot to offer to companies looking to set up shop here, such as our strategic Northeast U.S. location and skilled, committed workforce,” said Gov. Wolf. “The commonwealth’s competitive edge provided us with an advantage over other states for this expansion project, and I’m very pleased to welcome Crop One to Pennsylvania.”
Crop One has negotiated a lease with PNK group to operate a commercial-scale vertical indoor farming facility at 405 Stony Creek Road in Hazle Township. The 316,000-square-foot space will primarily grow romaine lettuce and spring mix, serving retailers, food service providers, and other partners located within close proximity to the facility, ensuring produce is packaged and on store shelves within 24 hours. This project is Crop One’s third operation in the United States.
The company received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for a loan of up to $3 million through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA); a $120,000 Pennsylvania First grant, and an $80,000 workforce development grant to train its new workers. The company has committed to investing a total of $105 million into the project and creating at least 40 new full-time jobs within three years.
“As Crop One looked to expand into new geographies, Pennsylvania quickly emerged as a natural next step,” said Craig Ratajczyk, Chief Executive Officer at Crop One. “The state’s accessibility to a broad consumer base, paired with strong state support will make it easy for us to continue scaling our U.S. operations. We thank Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development for their support. We look forward to becoming an important part of the local Luzerne County community.”
This project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.
The company plans to work with the local business community and government/civic organizations to continue to provide economic development opportunities. DCED and Crop One worked closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and CAN DO, a Hazelton-based economic development organization, to bring this project to fruition.
“Controlled agriculture systems like Crop One help to diversify Pennsylvania’s $132.5 billion agriculture industry,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “These new job opportunities feed our economy and bring people with different abilities and skills to the table, putting climate-smart technology to work to feed consumer demand for fresh, local produce.”
As the projected worldwide population continues to grow, the agriculture industry must feed the world in new, innovative, and sustainable ways. Vertical and indoor farming are productive and sustainable solutions to feeding the future.
“CAN DO is proud to add Crop One to the wide array of industries located within Humboldt Industrial Park,” said Joseph Lettiere, CAN DO president and CEO. “Given the state-of-the-art technology that will be integrated into the facility as well as the 40 family-sustaining jobs that will be created, this project will provide an immediate impact on our community. And, since Crop One will be developing a sustainable food source within a controlled environment, CAN DO will also be welcoming what can be considered the next generation of farming to Greater Hazleton.”
Crop One is a technology-driven indoor vertical farming company on a mission to cultivate a sustainable future to meet global demand for fresh, local, and safe food. Through its Plants-First™ approach and industry-leading technology platform, Crop One grows fresh, delicious leafy greens using 95 percent less water than field-grown produce. Because the growth of crops takes place in entirely sealed and controlled environments, growing and harvesting can happen 365 days a year, regardless of the season.
For more information about the Governor’s Action Team or the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website.
For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News.