California open field grower expands into hydroponic lettuces

California-based Misionero started out as a grower-shipper of field-grown lettuces and tender greens. However, in 2021, the company expanded into the hydroponic lettuce space. “We started partnering with Grupo Altex, an agricultural company in Mexico with more than 10 years of experience in the CEA space,” says Misionero’s President, Joe Merenda. “This operation is the largest hydroponic lettuce and leafy-green producer in North America and the only fully integrated process of its kind in Mexico,” he added. Products from Misionero’s hydroponic lettuce line include Romaine, Butter Lettuce, Little Gems, and the list doesn’t stop there – recently, spinach was also added to their hydroponic portfolio.

To package these products, Misionero considers sustainability a priority for its business. “Our lettuce is eco-friendly, packaged in rPET clamshells, and uses 80 percent less water than traditional field-grown products,” shared Merenda. “This offering appeals to both consumers’ demand for environmentally friendly products as well as retailers’ sustainability goals. We look forward to continued success with Grupo Altex and providing our customers with this unique and top-of-the-line product.”

Shared values
A year and a half into the partnership, it has proven to be about more than just the product offering. For both Misionero and Grupo Altex, a commitment to their cultural foundations and investing in their communities is a key priority. “Misionero is focused on social responsibility through its Equitable Food Initiative certifications, which we’ve earned and maintained over the last four years. At the same time, Grupo Altex built the ‘Agricultural Entrepreneurs’ program, which has graduated more than 800 farmers,” Merenda shared. “We’re thrilled to partner with a company that shares our values and commitment to quality products and quality companies.”

East Coast facility
Following the branching into hydroponic lettuces, Misionero recently expanded its footprint with the opening of a new facility in Baltimore, in addition to its existing facilities in California and Arizona. “We established this full-scale processing facility in Baltimore with our customers in mind as we dedicated specific capacity for organic and conventional tender leaf salads,” Merenda commented.

These are just a few of the things the company will be talking about as it heads back to in-person events to meet customers face to face. “As we prepare for shows like the Organic Produce Summit and IFPA’s Global Produce & Floral Show, we look forward to showing off our products, expansion, and people as we reconnect with colleagues in our industry,” Merenda finished. Visit Misionero at booth #914 at the Organic Produce Summit in Monterey this Thursday.

For more information:
Hana Mohsin
Tel: 831-200-2850

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