Market Fresh Produce continues its plan to grow its business across the Midwest with the acquisition of Harlin Fruit Co. in Monett, Mo.

The purchase is part of the Nixa, Mo.-based Market Fresh strategy to vertically integrate, owner and CEO Steve Phipps said in a news release.

He said the Harlin Produce property will give Market Fresh an excellent location for “research and development opportunities.”

Tyler Phipps, who has been director of field operations for Market Fresh, is now general manager of the former Harlin facility in Monett. Market Fresh is renovating and upgrading the facility, according to the release. It will use the Monett location as a repacking center.

When the facility is operational, Market Fresh will be better equipped to meet regional demand across Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma, according to the release. It will include reworking, ripening, cross-docking and redistribution services.

Jerry Sutton, former owner of Harlin Fruit, said in the release he believes the building will be a tremendous asset for Market Fresh and that he is thrilled the facility is remaining in the produce industry.

Market Fresh specializes in procurement and category management in tomatoes, potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, peppers, avocados and kiwifruit, according to the company’s website.