Lisbon, ME, — Springworks Farm, the largest and first certified organic aquaponic farming operation in New England, today announced that it is now the exclusive provider of whole head romaine lettuce to Hannaford Supermarkets in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
In contrast to lettuce grown in California, Arizona, and Mexico that spends up to six days in a truck, Springworks Farm’s certified organic lettuce travels just 34 miles from its aquaponic greenhouse facilities in Lisbon to Hannaford’s distribution center in South Portland. The savings of nearly 3,500 food miles means greater sustainability for the environment and a higher quality product for Hannaford consumers.
“Because our romaine lettuce arrives on Hannaford’s shelves in hours instead of days, consumers are getting a product that’s fresher and more nutritious,” Springworks Farm founder and president Trevor Kenkel explained. “Best of all, it’s certified organic.”
Springworks Farm is already Hannaford’s exclusive supplier of certified organic Green Leaf lettuce. The company also supplies all 184 Hannaford stores with Baby Romaine lettuce and Boston Bibb, plus an assortment of pre-cut products in select stores, including Single Cut Romaine, Single Cut Boston Bibb, and Salad Mix. Pre-cut products offer consumers greater convenience by eliminating prep work, in addition to their sustainability, taste, and nutrient benefits.
“By partnering with local farms like Springworks, Hannaford is doing the right thing for Maine’s economy and its residents,” Hannaford Produce Category Manager Mark Jewell said. “When we order from Springworks, we eliminate thousands of food miles while contributing to our company’s sustainability goals and supporting a local business. It’s a win for our company, but more importantly, it’s a win for our consumers who are getting a fresher, tastier, and certified organic product.”
This announcement comes three months after Springworks Farm opened its third 40,000 square foot greenhouse. In addition to delivering the necessary growing capacity for whole head romaine that is available exclusively at Hannaford, Greenhouse 3 is enabling the company to test new products and increase overall production.
“This launch comes at a particularly exciting time for Springworks Farm,” Vice President Sierra
Kenkel said. “Three weeks ago, Trevor was one of seven business leaders recognized by Maine
Biz on their Next List and two weeks ago, our company received the People’s United Bank Innovation & Technology Award from the Institute for Family-Owned Business. We’re extremely grateful for these honors and more motivated than ever to change the way lettuce is grown.”
Founded by CEO Trevor Kenkel in 2014 when he was just 19-years old, Springworks is an aquaponic greenhouse grower located in Lisbon, Maine that produces certified organic lettuce and tilapia all year. Aquaponics is a type of farming that fosters the natural symbiotic relationship between plants and fish. The Springworks aquaponics system uses 95% less water than soil-based agriculture and the company’s proprietary system grows up to 20 times more produce per acre than a conventional farm.
Aquaponics is a farming technique, where fish and plants support each other’s growth in a closed system. Nutrient-rich water from raising fish is pumped into growing beds, which feeds the plants. The plants, in turn, clean the water and return it to the fish. No chemicals are needed, unlike other systems, including hydroponics. Despite the many advantages of aquaponics, only a handful of commercial aquaponics greenhouses exist in the United States.