April 13, 2024
Florikan: A Growing Business
Florikan, a leading manufacturer, blender and distributor of controlled-release fertilizer, expanded into South Central Florida in 2015, locating in Hardee County Business Park with a lease-purchase agreement for an 80,000-sq.-ft. building.

Business Florida 2024

Florikan: A Growing Business

| 1/17/2024

Hardee County is home to space-age fertilizer company Florikan’s manufacturing, distribution and warehouse operations, but the impact of this locally founded company reaches all the way to the International Space Station.

Founded in 1981, Florikan ESA (Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture) has grown from entrepreneurs Ed and Betty Rosenthal selling controlled-release agriculture fertilizer products from the trunk of their car to an international industry leader. The company is part of a longtime NASA partnership to test growing vegetables on the ISS. In one experiment, tomatoes grown with Florikan products had improved health and growth, the company reported, as scientists worked to understand the effect of a zero-gravity environment on tomato growth. The company’s products also have been used for NASA’s Vegetable Production System to produce a variety of leafy greens. The company has earned more than a dozen major awards for ethical business practice, product innovation, job creation and environmental leadership. In 2017, the Space Foundation inducted Ed Rosenthal into the Space Technology Hall of Fame, and the Rosenthals established the Rosenthal Roots Family Foundation in 2019.

At the Hardee County Commerce Park in Bowling Green, the facilities opened with the help of the local Small Business Administration, the Hardee County Industrial Development Authority, and a community bank working together.

“It is Florida-based manufacturing, job creation and economic development bringing solutions to Florida agricultural and horticultural producers with a progressive technology that aids in efficient crop production and reduces environmental impacts, which conserves our resources,” said family spokesman Eric Rosenthal, at the opening almost a decade ago. Florikan now produces about 30,000 tons of products for 3,000 end users in the agricultural, turf and ornamental industries. Florikan’s corporate offices are in Sarasota.

Tags: Business Florida, Spotlight

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