Mexico-based Red Sun Farms, a producer of high-quality hydroponic vegetables, will invest $30 million to establish its first U.S. high-technology greenhouse production operation in Pulaski County, Virginia. The company will erect climate controlled greenhouses on 45 acres of land at New River Valley Commerce Park in Dublin, Virginia to grow greenhouse vegetables, creating 205 new jobs within five years.
Headquartered in Michoacán, Mexico, Red Sun Farms or Agricola El Rosal is part of a family owned agro-industrial group. "We are extremely excited to begin construction on our new greenhouse facility in Dublin, Virginia," said Carlos Visconti, COO of JemD Farms and Thierry Legros, Managing Director of Red Sun 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 thank the Governor and the local authorities for their support and assistance to make this project a reality."
Gov. Bob McDonnell said, "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. 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 205 new jobs is a tremendous win for the Commonwealth and Pulaski County, and represents strategic growth for the New River Valley region."
Todd P. Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry said; "Virginia is already one of the nation's top producers of tomatoes, but very few are produced under controlled, greenhouse conditions. Having a major greenhouse production operation like Red Sun elevates further Virginia's standing as a major player in agricultural development and provides potential for greater growth in this arena down the road. Indeed, this project shows that Virginia is ripe for more agricultural production and job creation opportunities."
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Pulaski County, the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance, the NRV Commerce Park Participation Committee of the Virginia's First Regional Industrial Facility Authority, and the Roanoke Regional Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McDonnell approved a $350,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Pulaski County with the project. The Governor also approved $100,000 from the Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, a grant administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and made to businesses that add value to Virginia-grown agricultural and forestal products. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company's recruitment, training and retraining activities.