Virginia-based Glenmary Farms packs its greenhouse-grown strawberries in biodegradable, recyclable boxes created by cherry tomato farmer Linda Fritz of Sun Sugar Farms in neighboring Kentucky

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April 25, 2023 (press release) –

Glenmary Farms from the Appalachian area of Virginia packs their greenhouse-grown strawberries in biodegradable, recyclable boxes created by a Kentucky farmer.

Bristol, VA April 25, 2023 --( The Appalachian area of western Virginia is not typically where you’d expect to find a 2.5 acre high-tech greenhouse commercially growing strawberries. Even more surprising is that this grower on the edge of flyover country refused to package his berries in traditional plastic “clamshells.” Instead, he’s using a new biodegradable and easily recycled paperboard container created by a female farmer in neighboring Kentucky .

Michael Richard , owner of Glenmary Farms , has been farming for several years. But in 2019 he set out to grow the best tasting strawberry that would be available year-round. Despite the many challenges of a startup business, he was committed from the beginning to growing and packaging his produce sustainably. Because most recycling centers won’t take clamshell and billions end up in landfills annually, that meant no plastic. In the fall of 2020 through a google search he found the Sustainable Produce Container, created one year before by cherry tomato farmer Linda Fritz of Sun Sugar Farms in Verona, KY .

“At this point we hadn’t even broken ground for the greenhouse,” says Richard. “But we’ve always centered our business around leaving a positive environmental impact. When I started talking with Linda about her containers and the service she could provide, it was the type of package and partnership we were looking for. Linda’s company designed the graphics on the box to help us share that message with our customers. She also created a new 1.5 Pint size for us to accommodate how big some of our berries ended up growing.”

Richard’s efforts are paying off and his berries are now available in area stores. One of the first major retailers to carry his strawberries is Food City. Food City is a privately held company with more than 75 retail food outlets in southeastern Kentucky , southwestern Virginia and northeastern Tennessee .

“One of the buyers of the Food City stores happened to stop at our produce stand where we sell direct to consumers,” Richard explains. “He was blown away by how much better our strawberries looked than what was coming out of California and that he’d never tasted as good of a berry. And, while we were talking, a woman came up and said she really loved that there was no plastic in the boxes.”

Richard says he is hoping to expand to other retail grocery stores as his berry operation ramps up. “It’s not been easy and it’s not been cheap,” Richard comments. “But we’re hoping to partner with more retailers committed to quality produce and to leaving a positive impact on the earth.”

Contact Information:
Sun Sugar Farms
Linda Fritz
Contact via Email
Toll free: 888-883-7259

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