Springworks Farm announces exclusive whole head romaine deal

Springworks Farm announces exclusive whole head romaine deal

Aquaponically grown, certified organic lettuce from Lisbon, Maine, will save up to 6 days of travel and thousands of food miles vs. field-grown lettuce from California, Arizona, and Mexico.

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© Photo credit | Springworks Farm

Springworks Farm, the largest and first certified organic aquaponic farming operation in New England (and the subject of Produce Grower's August 2021 cover story), today announced that it is now the exclusive provider of whole head romaine lettuce to Hannaford Supermarkets in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

In contrast to lettuce grown in California, Arizona, and Mexico that spends up to six days in a truck, Springworks Farm’s certified organic lettuce travels just 34 miles from its aquaponic greenhouse facilities in Lisbon to Hannaford’s distribution center in South Portland. 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,” Springworks Farm founder and president Trevor Kenkel explained. “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. Pre-cut products offer consumers greater convenience by eliminating prep work, in addition to their sustainability, taste, and nutrient benefits.

“By partnering with local farms like Springworks, Hannaford is doing the right thing for Maine’s economy and its residents,” Hannaford Produce Category Manager Mark Jewell said. “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 announcement comes three months after Springworks Farm opened its third 40,000 square foot greenhouse. In addition to delivering the necessary growing capacity for whole head romaine that is available exclusively at Hannaford, Greenhouse 3 is enabling the company to test new products and increase overall production.

“This launch comes at a particularly exciting time for Springworks Farm,” Vice President Sierra Kenkel said. “Three weeks ago, Trevor was one of seven business leaders recognized by Maine Biz on their Next List and two weeks ago, our company received the People’s United Bank Innovation & Technology Award from the Institute for Family-Owned Business. We’re extremely grateful for these honors and more motivated than ever to change the way lettuce is grown.”