Just in- America’s largest grocery store chain Kroger have stated new endeavor and is experimenting with indoor amenities for fresh food harvest! After placing high-tech growth units within food retailers across Europe, North America and Japan, In-farm is now expanding facilities that can efficiently grow and distribute vertically grown products at scale.
The move combines the dozens of small, cloud-connected units that In-farm specializes in to create distribution facilities that can supply multiple stores, putting it in closer competition with suppliers like AeroFarms, BrightFarms, Plenty and others who grow the products – mostly leafy greens – in scale. Retailers across the United States have signed up with these suppliers looking to offer new “locally grown” products throughout the year.
While, In-farm will likely aim to expand its existing retailer relationships, which includes big names like Amazon Fresh, and Kroger. Its modular units can fit “any available space,” according to the news release, allowing the growing centers to operate in small, unconventional spaces within dense urban markets – albeit with high ceilings, given that each unit is at least 32 feet high.
Germany-based In-farm made headlines in 2019 when it placed small growth units inside two QFC stores in the Seattle area. Small, high-tech farms supply vegetables like lettuce, kale, and cilantro, providing a very local supply as well as a touch of food theater to clients. Last year, In-farm placed farm units inside two Whole Foods stores in London.
Furthermore, In-farm publicized $ 170 million in financing last fall, bringing its total funding to more than $ 300 million. Vertical planting installations have struggled for years to cope with high energy costs. The incumbent operators insist that continuous innovation has improved business economies and made it possible to supply retailers at scale and offer competitive prices with traditionally grown products. Infarm says its technology helps its units set the conditions to develop better production and also save energy.
Here’s the official statement, “We have collected more than 300 billion data points across our agriculture network so far. This data enables us to improve our growing recipes and improve productivity, quality and nutritional value, while constantly lowering the price of production,” said Jay Galonska, co-founder and chief technology officer of Infarm. Albertsons teamed up with Plenty to supply more than 400 California stores with vertically farmed vegetables, while last month the Giant Eagle expanded its supply from its fifth season powered by robots. In October, Evergreen Farms, which specializes in vertical farming, won first prize in the Ahold Delhaize Innovation Supply Chain Competition.