A newly certified facility at Rocky Point in North Carolina has been opened by Lewis Nursery and Farms and its subsidiary American Blueberries
Lewis Nursery and Farms and its subsidiary American Blueberries have officially opened a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) APHIS-certified cold treatment facility, located in Rocky Point, North Carolina.
North Carolina Ports said that the certified facility would not only benefit American Blueberries and its customers, but the availability of this service would support imports of fresh produce including blueberries, grapes, apples, pears, citrus and organics through the Port of Wilmington year-round.
With its capability and certification, North Carolina becomes one of only seven states in the entire US, and one of only two states in the southeast, to have such a facility.
“We are extremely excited to have had the opportunity to become a certified cold treatment facility and to have met the USDA requirements successfully,” said Cal Lewis, president Lewis Nursery and Farms and American Blueberries.
“We are now poised to service customers choosing to use the Port of Wilmington with an option to treat their commodities if necessary, providing a great opportunity to enhance North Carolina’s agricultural business.”
This certification makes the Port of Wilmington one of only two ports in the southeast capable of re-treating failed in-transit cold treated commodities.
“This cold treatment facility is essential for our customers looking to import produce through the Port of Wilmington,” noted Brian Clark, executive directorat the North Carolina State Ports Authority.
“By securing this certification, Lewis Nursery and Farms and American Blueberries will not only enhance North Carolina’s cold chain, but the services offered at the Port of Wilmington as well.”
This facility not only supports North Carolina agriculture by allowing farms, like Lewis Farms, to operate year-round, but it also positions refrigerated containers in the state to support other food exports, including sweet potatoes.
“North Carolina is one of the nation’s fastest growing states, meaning more consumers requiring year-round access to fruits, vegetables and proteins – bringing with it a positive demand increase for more product options and solutions” said Hans Bean, chief commercial officer, North Carolina State Ports Authority.
“This new facility, in addition to the Port of Wilmington being named the most productive port in North America, further positions NC Ports as an ideal gateway for the movement of refrigerated cargo, saving customers time, money and distance to consumers.”