Star Group planning expansion of “living lettuce” greenhouse project
Responding to consumer demands for innovative, locally grown, clean greens, Whole Leaf as a part of The Star Group, is preparing to initiate Phase Two of its “Inspired Greens” greenhouse program.
The initial $30 million project, which was completed in May 2017, introduced new greenhouse technology from around the globe. The Star Group worked on the project for more than two years, bringing together the top lettuce technology from Asia, Europe, and North America.
“New varieties, new growing technology, and new packaging are all part of our commitment to being the most innovative company in the produce industry, and all grown pesticide free,” said David Karwacki, Chief Executive Officer of The Star Group of Companies. “The “Inspired Greens” project was a major commitment to a new approach for greenhouse lettuce that has never been done in North America. Now, based on feedback and response from our customers, we’re preparing to expand this unique operation and move toward production of 20 million heads per year.”
The “Inspired Greens” greenhouse is on target to grow 11 million heads in its first year, as it ramped up production and refined growing practices to ensure the most efficient production of high quality lettuce throughout the year. With the massive scale of this growing operation, the company typically has one million heads in production at all times.
Whole Leaf will continue to produce a unique blend of varieties – including a Multileaf Trio, Butter, Batavia, Oak and Romaine – under the “Inspired Greens” brand, with packaging options that meet the needs of grocery chains and retail consumers.
“We are always thinking about giving consumers a great eating experience. Who knew lettuce could have such great taste. You don’t even need dressing!” said Karwacki.