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10/21/2021

Hannaford Chooses Local Aquaponic Farm to Ensure Fresher Lettuce

Springworks Farm’s greens travel just 34 miles from its greenhouse facilities to retailer’s distribution center in Maine
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
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Hannaford Chooses Local Aquaponic Farm to Ensure Fresher Lettuce
Springworks Farm has become the exclusive whole-head romaine lettuce grower for all Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts Hannaford stores.

Hannaford Supermarkets has chosen fellow Mainer Springworks Farm, an aquaponic company, to become the exclusive provider of whole-head romaine lettuce for its stores in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Founded in 2014, Springworks is an aquaponic greenhouse grower located in Lisbon, Maine, that produces organic lettuce and tilapia all year. Aquaponics is a type of farming that fosters the natural symbiotic relationship between plants and fish. The Springworks aquaponics system reportedly uses 95% less water than soil-based agriculture, and the company’s proprietary system grows up to 20 times more produce per acre than a conventional farm.

In contrast to lettuce grown in California, Arizona and Mexico that can spend up to six days in a truck, Springworks Farm’s certified-organic lettuce travels just 34 miles from its greenhouse facilities in Lisbon to Hannaford’s distribution center in South Portland, Maine. The savings of nearly 3,500 food miles means greater sustainability for the environment and a higher-quality product for Hannaford consumers.

“Because our romaine lettuce arrives on Hannaford’s shelves in hours instead of days, consumers are getting a product that’s fresher and more nutritious,” explained Springworks Farm founder and President Trevor Kenkel. “Best of all, it’s certified organic.”

Springworks Farm is already Hannaford’s exclusive supplier of certified-organic Green Leaf lettuce. The company also supplies all 184 Hannaford stores with Baby Romaine lettuce and Boston Bibb, plus an assortment of pre-cut products in select stores, including Single Cut Romaine, Single Cut Boston Bibb and Salad Mix. 

“By partnering with local farms like Springworks, Hannaford is doing the right thing for Maine’s economy and its residents,” said Hannaford Produce Category Manager Mark Jewell. “When we order from Springworks, we eliminate thousands of food miles while contributing to our company’s sustainability goals and supporting a local business. It’s a win for our company, but more importantly, it’s a win for our consumers who are getting a fresher, tastier and certified-organic product.”

This news comes three months after Springworks Farm opened its third 40,000-square-foot greenhouse and four months after Hannaford debuted its 64th store in Maine

Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford operates 184 stores in five Northeast states, employing nearly 30,000 associates. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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