Friday, March 15, 2013

Red Sun Farms Bringing Jobs to Pulaski

The subsidiary of a Mexican agricultural leader will create 205 new jobs and invest a total of $30 million to establish its first U.S. high-technology greenhouse production operation in Pulaski County, the first tenant of the New River Valley Commerce Park.

Red Sun Farms, a producer of high-quality hydroponic, organic vegetables, will erect climate-controlled greenhouses on 45 acres of land to grow greenhouse-grown vegetables, creating the new jobs within five years, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced at a news conference at New River Community College.

“This game-changing project has been in the works for a long time, and it is gratifying to see it come to fruition today. Red Sun Farms uses extremely high-tech equipment to provide a continuous supply of the best organic greenhouse-produced vegetables, and after much research determined that Pulaski County is the ideal spot for its first U.S. production center,” the governor said. “Virginia offers optimal climatic conditions for greenhouse operations, a central location providing convenient access to East Coast markets, and a top-notch workforce ready for this new opportunity. As the first tenant of the New River Valley Commerce Park, Red Sun Farms’ significant investment and creation of new jobs is a tremendous win for the Commonwealth and Pulaski County, and represents strategic growth for the New River Valley region.”

Virginia successfully competed against Tennessee for the project.

“We welcome Red Sun Farms’ first U.S. greenhouse tomato production operation to Pulaski County and the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “The company will not only provide new jobs to the community, it will help diversify the local economy and add value to Virginia-grown products. I am confident Red Sun Farms will find success in the Commonwealth and continue as a leader in the greenhouse vegetable industry of North America.”

Headquartered in Michoacán, Mexico, Red Sun Farms was founded in 2001 as part of a family owned agro-industrial group, AgrĂ­cola El Rosal S.A. de C.V., a company dedicated to production of vegetables under greenhouse hydroponic systems using high technology. Red Sun Farms is a key component of the agriculture division, and is an integral part of the group’s business growth and development throughout North America.

The Red Sun brand is owned and marketed by JemD Farms, the only Mexican- and Canadian-owned greenhouse company in North America. Its sister brand, Golden Sun, produces tomatoes in Canada. Currently, JemD Farms owns and operates 150 acres of high-tech greenhouses in Canada and 250 acres in Mexico, making this expansion a true North American operation.
Among its high-tech features: computer-monitored humidity, oxygen and carbon dioxide monitors. 

“We are excited to soon begin construction on our new greenhouse facility in Dublin,” said Carlos Visconti, chief operating officer of JemD Farms. “Being able to provide quality, safe and now locally grown greenhouse produce to our retail partners and consumers is a great accomplishment for our team.  We would especially like to thank Governor McDonnell and his agencies and departments, Pulaski County, the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance and many others who worked tirelessly to make this project a reality.” 

“This announcement establishes a unique, high-tech industry in Pulaski County that supplements our existing agricultural businesses,” said Joe Sheffey, chairman of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors. “Furthermore, it is the first in what we plan to be several other industries to locate in our regional Commerce Park. We see Red Sun Farms as yet another step in our efforts to diversify our local economy.”

The New River Valley Commerce Park is a 1,000-acre, publicly owned industrial site located next to New River Valley Airport and Foreign Trade Zone #238, just 3 miles from Interstate 81.

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