MOREHEAD, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AppHarvest, a leading AgTech company building some of the country’s largest high-tech indoor farms to grow affordable, nutritious fruits and vegetables at scale, has announced that its first-ever harvest—Beefsteak tomatoes from its 60-acre Morehead, Kentucky, flagship indoor farm—will start to roll out in grocery stores this week.
The sustainably grown tomatoes first will be available in select national retailers such as Kroger, Publix, Walmart, Food City and Meijer.
Shoppers will be able to find the Beefsteak tomatoes in the produce aisle, co-branded with Sunset Grown, and the products are expected to be comparable in price to standard tomatoes. AppHarvest’s Beefsteak tomatoes are chemical pesticide-free, non-GMO and are grown with 100% recycled rainwater.
This first harvest occurs as AppHarvest continues expansion plans for additional indoor farms to meet the increasing demand for sustainably grown U.S. produce. The company is preparing to list publicly after the closing of the previously announced business combination of AppHarvest with Novus Capital Corporation (Nasdaq: NOVS) and then will trade on Nasdaq under the ticker APPH.
At ramp-up, AppHarvest’s Morehead facility alone is expected to produce about 45 million pounds of tomatoes annually from about 720,000 tomato plants, a mix of Beefsteak and “Tomatoes on the Vine.” AppHarvest has two more facilities under construction—a similar 60-plus acre facility outside Richmond, Ky., and a 15-acre facility to grow leafy greens in Berea, Ky. AppHarvest also is planning for more facilities across Kentucky and Central Appalachia, with the goal of 12 total farms by the end of 2025.
The AgTech company recently appointed AppHarvest Board Member David Lee as president to manage strategy and operations, while leading the sales, marketing and finance functions as AppHarvest continues to grow as a sustainable fresh foods company. Lee joins AppHarvest from Impossible Foods, where he has served as chief financial officer since 2015 and is credited with significant growth accomplishments including securing more than $1.3 billion in funding to accelerate manufacturing, product development and distribution.
In August 2020, AppHarvest announced that food entrepreneur and icon Martha Stewart and best-selling author and investor J.D. Vance would join the board of directors, alongside Inclusive Capital Partners Founder & Managing Partner Jeffrey Ubben and Rise of the Rest Seed Funds Partner Anna Mason and others committed to transforming the future of agriculture and supporting entrepreneurial efforts in Middle-America.
AppHarvest’s high-tech indoor farms are designed to use 90% less water with yields that are up to 30 times higher compared to traditional open-field agriculture on the same amount of land. Its location in Appalachia allows it to deliver a strong social impact by building a diversified economy in economically distressed areas of the country, while enabling its products to reach about 70% of the U.S. population within a single day’s drive. As a result, AppHarvest expects to deliver fresher fruits and vegetables, ripened on the vine for peak flavor and nutrition, with an 80% reduction in diesel consumption required for transportation, as compared to produce shipped from Mexico.
“As a mission-driven company that prioritizes Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles, this first harvest is monumental for our business, and we want to set a benchmark for the industry,” said Jonathan Webb, founder and CEO. “We are determined to build a climate-resilient infrastructure to offer folks a delicious tomato that is sustainably grown right here in Appalachia with 100% recycled rainwater and zero chemical pesticides, making it better for both them and the environment.”
“AppHarvest’s high-tech, sustainable approach is the future of food, and this first harvest allows us to provide consumers with chemical pesticide-free, nutrient-rich, flavorful produce that’s making a difference they can feel good about,” said Martha Stewart, Board Member of AppHarvest. “I’ve been testing the early sample tomatoes, which are delicious, and I’m already looking forward to integrating them into my kitchen and recipes this year.”
For more information on where to purchase AppHarvest products, visit www.AppHarvest.com.
AppHarvest is an applied technology company building some of the world’s largest indoor farms in Appalachia. The company combines conventional agricultural techniques with cutting-edge technology and is addressing key issues including improving access for all to nutritious food, farming more sustainably, building a home-grown food supply, and increasing investment in Appalachia. The company’s 60-acre Morehead, Ky. facility is among the largest indoor farms in the U.S. For more information, visit https://www.appharvest.com/.
Certain statements included in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally are accompanied by words such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “should,” “would,” “plan,” “predict,” “potential,” “seem,” “seek,” “future,” “outlook,” and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. All statements, other than statements of present or historical fact included in this press release, regarding Novus Capital’s proposed acquisition of AppHarvest, Novus Capital’s ability to consummate the transaction, the benefits of the transaction and the combined company’s future financial performance, as well as the combined company’s growth plans and strategy, future operations, estimated financial position, estimated revenues and losses, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this press release, and on the current expectations of AppHarvest’s management and are not predictions of actual performance. These forward-looking statements are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to serve as, and must not be relied on as, a guarantee, an assurance, a prediction, or a definitive statement of fact or probability. Actual events and circumstances are difficult or impossible to predict and will differ from assumptions. Many actual events and circumstances are beyond the control of AppHarvest. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including those discussed in Novus Capital’s registration statement on Form S-4, filed with the SEC on October 9, 2020 (the “Registration Statement”), under the heading “Risk Factors,” and other documents Novus Capital has filed, or will file, with the SEC. If any of these risks materialize or our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. In addition, forward-looking statements reflect AppHarvest’s expectations, plans, or forecasts of future events and views as of the date of this press release. AppHarvest anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its assessments to change. However, while AppHarvest may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, AppHarvest specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing AppHarvest’s assessments of any date subsequent to the date of this press release. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed upon the forward-looking statements.
Important Information for Investors and Stockholders
In connection with the proposed transaction, Novus Capital has filed the Registration Statement with the SEC, which includes a preliminary proxy statement to be distributed to holders of Novus Capital’s common stock in connection with Novus Capital’s solicitation of proxies for the vote by Novus Capital’s stockholders with respect to the proposed transaction and other matters as described in the Registration Statement, as well as the prospectus relating to the offer of securities to be issued to AppHarvest’s stockholders in connection with the proposed transaction. After the Registration Statement has been declared effective, Novus Capital will mail a definitive proxy statement, when available, to its stockholders. Investors and security holders and other interested parties are urged to read the proxy statement/prospectus, any amendments thereto and any other documents filed with the SEC carefully and in their entirety when they become available because they will contain important information about Novus Capital, AppHarvest and the proposed transaction. Investors and security holders may obtain free copies of the preliminary proxy statement/prospectus and definitive proxy statement/prospectus (when available) and other documents filed with the SEC by Novus Capital through the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov, or by directing a request to: Novus Capital Corporation, 8556 Oakmont Lane, Indianapolis, IN 46260. The information contained on, or that may be accessed through, the websites referenced in this press release is not incorporated by reference into, and is not a part of, this press release.
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