B.C. hothouse firm sheds U.S. site

B.C. produce firm Village Farms has signed a deal to sell one of its greenhouse operations in Pennsylvania to a former employee — and to handle his marketing, sales and distribution.

The Delta, B.C.-based income trust said Tuesday it would sell its facility at Ringgold, Penn., about 100 km northeast of Pittsburgh, for an undisclosed sum to Intergrow Portageville Inc. at Portageville, N.Y., about 90 km south of Rochester.

Village Farms had owned Ringgold Greenhouse since 1993, but said the sale is “integral” to its strategic plan to focus on large-scale operations with “advancing technologies that provide 365-days-a-year production.”

The buyer, Mario van Logten, is a former employee of Village Farms, who had operated three facilities, Ringgold included, over 15 years with the company.

Van Logten has other greenhouse facilities and is a part owner of Intergrow Portageville, Village Farms noted.

Village Farms has signed a long-term marketing agreement with van Logten under which the B.C. company will continue to market, sell, and distribute all of Ringgold’s production under the Village Farms brand.

The deal also calls for Village Farms to start marketing under the Village Farms brand for all of van Logten’s Intergrow Portageville greenhouse production.

Village Farms, billed as North America’s largest grower and marketer of hydroponic produce, said the deal will mean a continued supply under the Village Farms brand for its customer base in the U.S. northeast. The deal will also allow its customers in both New York state and Pennsylvania to get locally-grown produce under the Village Farms brand name.

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