Jun 23, 2022
Bowery Farming, Unfold partner on vertical farm seed development

Vertical farming company Bowery Farming and Unfold, a seed and digital solutions company advancing the vertical farming industry, have formed a partnership to create locally produced vegetables through new seed varieties.

Controlled environmental agriculture needs deep collaborations to unlock the immense potential value of the industry. The lack of broadly available industry expertise has caused many vertical farms to rely on suboptimal seeds, receiving a lower return on investment for their produce, according to a news release. Bowery’s agricultural scientists and engineers will partner with Unfold’s plant biology experts and leverage its digital tools, germplasm and best-of-breed seeds to cultivate new plant varieties for customers.

Bowery Farming grows leafy greens and herbs in indoor vertical farms, and will be offering new varieties developed by Unfold. Photo: Bowery Farming

“The partnership will give us an even stronger foundation to address the biggest food challenges facing our world, from sustainability and food security to year-round access to nutritious produce,” Henry Sztul, Bowery’s chief science officer, said in the release. “With our R&D team working alongside Unfold, we will expand the wide variety of crops we can grow in Bowery’s indoor controlled environments, which will ultimately benefit the broader industry.”

The resulting plant varieties will increase Bowery’s produce output while lowering the production costs, making vegetables more accessible. New York City-based Bowery has identified two new higher-yielding Romaine varieties available exclusively from Unfold that it aims to trial in early 2023.

Core to this collaboration is a joint priority around sustainability. Working alongside Davis, California-based Unfold, vegetable varieties that require less time and energy to produce while maintaining traits valued by consumers like crunch, color and taste are now possible.

“We don’t see ourselves as another seed provider,” John Purcell, Unfold’s CEO and president, said in the release. “We strive to operate as a powerful complement to our partners’ R&D teams and provide deep collaborations that will result in quicker, more targeted innovation.

“We are still in the burgeoning stages of vertical farming, but I’m convinced that with industry partnerships like the one between Unfold and Bowery, we’ll improve the longterm success of the industry.”

To learn more about Unfold’s Innovation Partner Program, visit https://unfold.ag/partner-program.

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