The Ugly Company, a farmer-led producer of upcycled dried fruit snacks, announced the opening of its new fruit processing plant in Farmersville, California. The facility represents a significant milestone in the company’s mission of providing nutritious snacks sourced from funny-looking but perfectly edible fruit that would otherwise be thrown out.
Furthering its growth momentum and solidifying its mission, The Ugly Company also unveiled new packaging that will better illustrate its brand story and clearly define its products.
With the first fruit dump of the farming season set to take place this June, The Ugly Company hopes that its plant and mission-centric branding will draw awareness to fruit waste in the U.S. and make a tangible impact.
Farmersville Plant is Operational
Located in the heart of Farmersville, the new facility spans 23.5 acres. It is equipped with cutting-edge technology to process a wide range of locally grown fruits, including a self-developed sticker-removal machine, class-leading pit extractors imported from Italy, and 32 fruit dehydration tunnels. Additionally, in collaborating with regional growers, The Ugly Company ensures a sustainable supply chain that minimizes transportation costs and reduces the company’s carbon footprint.
“Our new fruit processing facility represents a significant step forward in our commitment to sustainable and healthy snacking,” said Ben Moore, founder and CEO of The Ugly Company. “We are proud to open this facility in Farmersville, as it allows us to support local farmers, contribute to the community’s economic growth, and bring our delicious and nutritious snacks to more people.”
The facility allows The Ugly Company far greater control over the quality of its products by bringing processing in-house. Unlike other dried food startups that outsource complicated de-pitting and drying processes, The Ugly Company can also ensure greater food sanitation standards via more ability to monitor the lifecycle of the fruit from picking to end-product.
The new facility estimates an initial hire of 28 employees spanning a variety of roles from processing to the management level, bringing new employment opportunities to the Farmersville community.
“Upcycling and addressing food waste has been an important issue in the San Joaquin Valley,” said Congressman Jim Costa (CA-21). “The Ugly Company is bringing significant sustainable investments to the Valley in an effort to address the local food ecosystem.”
New Product Packaging Unveiled
The Ugly Company is also revamping its product packaging to provide greater insight and transparency into its products. It notes that each snack package is sourced from a single ingredient: the fruit. The Ugly Company doesn’t add any artificial ingredients or sugars, believing that the deliciousness of fruit can and should be celebrated by standing on its own.
The packaging also shines a light on the farmers from the Central Valley from which its fruit is sourced and where founder Ben Moore was born, raised, and inspired to upcycle the fruit waste he saw firsthand as a truck driver.
Last year, The Ugly Company prevented more than 2.17 million pounds of food waste by upcycling. In 2023, it aims to turn three million pounds of perfectly good fruit, which otherwise would’ve been tossed or fed to cattle, into dried fruit.