Florida-based J&J Family of Farms is laying the groundwork to further expand its capacity to deliver healthy fresh food with a lower environmental impact year-round to retail and foodservice customers.
J&J is a grower, packer and shipper of field-grown vegetable commodities and value-added produce. It operates packing and cooling facilities in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Texas and Mexico.
With more than 10,000 acres of farmland already under management, 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 an investment in infrastructure to support drip irrigation and precision nutrient and crop protection application.
These enhancements will help inform future innovation and expanded best practices for environmental conservation so that J&J can 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 Loxahatchee, Florida-based 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 St. Louis-based Benson Hill, a food tech company unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants with its food innovation engine, CropOS. Benson Hill recently revealed plans to enhance J&J's operations with breeding and testing sites, expanded processing and distribution capacity, and sustainability best practices.