Crop One Holdings, the world’s largest vertical farm operator through its FreshBox Farms brand, announced today that Chief Executive Officer Sonia Lo will participate in a CEO panel discussion at ING’s inaugural food and agribusiness event, “Think Forward: the Future of Food,” on September 27, 2018 at 11:30 AM CT at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas.
“We are honored to be among this year’s crop of winners,” says FreshBox Farms CEO, Sonia Lo. “We pride ourselves on Earth-friendly growing practices that are not only good for the planet, but also generate the freshest, cleanest and tastiest produce possible. This award is yet another affirmation of our values.”
Crop One Holdings, the vertical farm operator behind the FreshBox Farms brand, and Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC), one of the world’s largest airline catering operators, have announced a $40 million joint venture agreement to build the world’s largest vertical farming facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The 130,000-square-foot controlled environment facility will produce three U.S. tons (6,000 pounds or 2,700 kg) of high-quality, herbicide and pesticide-free leafy greens, harvested daily, using 99 percent less water than outdoor fields, according to a press release. Its location will enable quick delivery of fresh products within hours of harvest, maintaining the food’s nutritional value and reducing carbon emissions associated with transportation, according to the release.
Crop One Holdings, Inc., San Mateo, Calif., through its FreshBox Farms brand, formed a joint venture with Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC), Dubai, to build what is said to be the world’s largest vertical farming facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The $40 million, 130,000-square-foot controlled environment facility will produce 6,000 pounds of high-quality, herbicide- and pesticide-free leafy greens, harvested daily, using 99% less water than outdoor fields. Its location will enable quick delivery of fresh products within hours of harvest, maintaining the food’s nutritional value and reducing carbon emissions associated with transportation.
Vertical doesn’t necessarily mean towering high, though; it does mean the plants are stacked closely and efficiently. The Dubai farm will be only about four or five stories tall, but at 130,000 square feet, it is large enough to produce greens for the 225,000 meals Emirates caterers produce daily for in-flight meals. Lo said she can produce the same amount on a single acre indoors that would normally require 400 acres of land, and that her company landed the deal because it has shown it can make vertical farming profitable.
“The food service industry is attractive because they have very high, fixed volumes, but they demand lower prices. You need a cost structure that can serve that market profitably,” said Sonia Lo, CEO of Crop One, which also plans to build a farm in Connecticut and another in Texas this year. “There are plenty of vertical farms that are venture-financed where profitability is not a goal. They want market size and proof of science.”
FreshBox Farms, among the nation’s most efficient vertical farming operations, has been named a finalist in Fast Company’s 2018 World Changing Ideas Awards. The awards honor businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that offer innovative solutions to the issues facing humanity. Freshbox Farms is among the finalists highlighted in the May issue of the print magazine.
FreshBox Farms, of Millis has named Randy Frederick its national accounts director. His goal will be to build profitable business partnerships with key customers in the grocery, wholesale produce, food service and restaurant retail channels. Frederick most recently was vice president of national sales for Freight Farms…