Mar 2, 2023BrightFarms building regional salad greenhouse hubs
BrightFarms is constructing four regional greenhouse hubs across the eastern and central U.S.
The expansion will allow the Irvington, New York indoor farming company to offer sustainably grown leafy greens to more shoppers, according to a news release. The new locations will begin shipping to retailers in 2024 to help fulfill increasing demand. The expansion and commitment to innovation is expected to help BrightFarms grow revenue by 10 times, according to the release.
Construction is underway on the first regional hub in Yorkville, Illinois, west of Chicago. BrightFarms plans to break ground on similar facilities in Macon, Georgia, south of Atlanta, Georgia, and Lorena, Texas, south of Waco, Texas, this summer, followed by another hub in the Northeast later in the year.
Each location is strategically positioned near a major metropolitan area, and has a combined up to 200-acre footprint with the ability to produce approximately 150 million pounds of leafy greens per year once complete. Each regional hub will also create more than 250 jobs in the agricultural sector – more than 1,000 total – at full scale, according to the release.
“Today’s U.S. salad supply chain is not sustainable, with over 95% of all leafy greens grown in two centralized, water-depleted regions on the West Coast,” Steve Platt, BrightFarms’ CEO, said in the release. “At BrightFarms, we’ve built a better solution. We grow our greens where people consume them. With our four new greenhouse hubs underway, we’re excited to deliver the freshest, cleanest and most responsibly grown produce to two-thirds of the U.S. in a way that benefits the health of our consumers and the planet, while also providing fair and equitable wages and benefits to agricultural workers who feed our country.”
To facilitate the expansion, BrightFarms is partnering with KUBO Group and Green Automation Group, greenhouse and automated growing system technology providers, to build the most advanced indoor farms in the country, revolutionizing how leafy greens are grown in the U.S., according to the release.
KUBO’s Ultra-Clima technology delivers a climate control system that is stable and efficient and sustainable, equaling higher produce yields, less variability, improved food safety and greater resource efficiency, according to the release. Green Automation’s design and implementation of its Mobile Gutter System is designed to fully automate the growing and harvesting process, leading to record yields and improved food safety, according to the release.
BrightFarms’ greenhouse model also puts sustainability initiatives at the forefront, helping its commitment to the planet. By growing in a controlled automated environment close to the point of consumption, BrightFarms’ greenhouses use less water, land and shipping fuel, and zero pesticides, compared to field-grown produce, according to the release.
Acquired by Cox Enterprises in 2021, BrightFarms operates hydroponic greenhouse farms in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and Illinois. BrightFarms’ fresh lettuce options, which include classic greens to crunchy mixes and salad kits, are available in more than 3,700 retail stores across the East Coast and Midwest.