Fresh Solution Farms opened its 144,000 square foot facility in Mottville Township today. Backed by a Michigan Economic Development Corp. grant and six grower-owners, the new company produces top-quality, table-stock potatoes grown in Michigan and the Great Lakes region for distribution across the Midwest. The company also boosts St. Joseph County’s economy by creating 27 jobs, and possibly more in the future.
“Fresh Solution Farms meets the growing consumer and customer demand for high quality, locally grown produce and supports the local community by creating new jobs. Our people are our greatest competitive advantage and the foundation of our operating system is teamwork focused on delivering results in a sustainable way,” said Greg Salisbury, Fresh Solution Farms general manager.
The new facility incorporates industry-leading potato processing techniques with five receiving methods and three-stage washing and grading systems. The three-stage wash process includes agitation, a brush or tumble scrub and an anti-microbial ozone-infused rinse. To ensure consistent size and quality in every pack, the potatoes route through a photographic optical sorter, then an X-ray imaging sorter during the grading process.
Fresh Solution Farms has already connected with local foodservice and retail grocery customers, including Meijer, a Midwest grocer, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The opening of the Fresh Solution Farms facility gives us the opportunity to add to our portfolio of locally-grown produce by purchasing high-quality Michigan-grown and packed potatoes. We can also leverage the Fresh Solution Farms Network to bring the best regional produce to our consumers on a year-round basis while still supporting a local business,” said Mark Stevenson, director of produce merchandising for Meijer.
Fresh Solution Farms is the flagship facility of the network bearing its name. The Fresh Solutions Farms Network is a partnership of five multi-generational potato and onion growers across the country. This network aims to provide the freshest product with the lowest food miles possible
The other partners are: Basin Gold Co-op based in Washington, Michael Farms in Ohio, and Sterman Masser Inc. and Keystone Potato Products of Pennsylvania.
“This partnership enables customers to receive the best products with the lowest transportation costs possible. It also enables all of the network partners to expand their reach,”said Salisbury.