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Village Farms announces expansion in the Caribbean

Village Farms has begun operations in the Caribbean region with a first-of-its-kind packing and distribution facility in the Dominican Republic, the company announced in an Oct. 4 press release.

The fulfillment expansion is in conjunction with Village Farms International Grower Relations Supply Development Division and will operate under a new subsidiary, Village Farms DR SRL. The new facility investment, located in Santiago, Dominican Republic, will include computerized grading machinery, value-added packaging capabilities and cold storage, and it will be fully GAP-certified for quality assurance consistent with all Village Farms’ food-safety GFSI programs.

In the press release, Village Farms said that it would begin packing sweet Bell peppers from the Dominican Republic in October, using the same stringent grading specifications it employs in its other operations. In addition, Village Farms will be managing all export logistical services of its packaged branded peppers for distribution into the United States.

Village Farms said that it is committed to building strong partnerships with key growers in the Caribbean region, as it has done for many years in Canada and Mexico, and it will provide technical expertise in the areas of variety selection, cost containment, production management and advanced growing methods.

Village Farms’ partner hydroponic greenhouse growers currently are located in the high-elevation areas of the Dominican Republic, which provide optimal growing conditions for Bell peppers.

Michael Minerva, senior vice president of the Grower Relations Supply Development Division, said in the press release, “With the proper grower training programs in place, effective packaging and logistics services, and steady guidance, the Caribbean region is poised to become a consistent supplier of hydroponic greenhouse-grown sweet Bell peppers to the United States.”

Village Farms said that this expansion will help meet its growing demand for greenhouse-grown Bell peppers.