Thursday, September 29, 2022

Plenty secures up to 120 acres of land for vertical farm campus

Plenty Unlimited Inc. has secured up to 120 acres of land near Richmond, Virginia, to build “the largest, most advanced indoor vertical farm campus in the world.”

The centrally located Plenty Richmond Farm Campus marks Plenty’s expansion beyond the U.S. West Coast and will bring fresh, healthy produce to the East Coast year-round. Plenty plans to deploy several large-scale vertical farms on the campus in the coming years, with a potential annual production capacity exceeding 20 million pounds across multiple crops including strawberries, leafy greens and tomatoes.

“Through more than a decade of investment in research and development Plenty has cracked the code on a scalable platform that makes indoor farming increasingly economical,” said Arama Kukutai, CEO of Plenty. “That innovation makes it possible for us to grow a wide variety of crops with a fraction of the land and up to 350x more yield per acre than conventional farms. Channeling that into the largest vertical farm complex in the world propels us to the level indoor farming has to operate at to truly transform our food system.”

The campus’ first farm will grow Driscoll’s strawberries. The farm is designed to grow more than 4 million pounds of strawberries annually, helping to meet growing demand for flavorful, fresh berries in the Northeast, the largest berry consumption region in the U.S. Plenty has broken ground on the farm and the first crop of Driscoll’s strawberries grown by Plenty will be available in winter 2023-2024 at retailers throughout the Northeast.

“This farm will combine Driscoll’s patented berry varieties with Plenty’s patented indoor vertical farming technology,” said J. Miles Reiter, Driscoll’s chairman and CEO. “We are excited to take the next step in the journey to understand what it takes to bring fresh, flavorful berries locally grown all year-round.”

The Plenty Richmond Farm Campus will expand over time to include farms growing additional produce, such as Plenty’s signature pesticide-free leafy greens, using Plenty’s patented platform.

Over the next six years, $300 million will be invested into the new campus, which is slated to bring more than 300 jobs to Virginia.

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