Discover more from Indoor Vertical Farming Newsletter®
Facing Financial Challenges and Celebrating Technological Progress: A Week of Ups and Downs in Indoor Farming
AppHarvest Battles Lease and Credit Woes while IUNU's Anticipated CEA Report Sheds Light on Future Opportunities in the Industry
Thanks to Artechno Growsystems for keeping this edition free.
Hello and a delightful morning to you! Welcome to this week's edition where we will take a closer look at the recent hiccups experienced by AppHarvest in their partnership with Mastronardi involving one of their major facilities. We're also excited to share the freshly minted annual edition of IUNU’s CEA report, packed with insights bound to interest you.
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Additionally, we've lined up a collection of important news from the past week that significantly impacted our industry. This includes an overview of the leadership changes at AppHarvest, an update on AeroFarms' journey through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and the latest on Freshbay's intriguing announcement about its ambitious GEOCEA project.
Oh, and here's a treat for all our dear readers! I'm thrilled to share that we have recently launched our new market research services at agtechreports.com. We're eager to assist you with our comprehensive, data-driven insights that can help you navigate the ever-evolving agtech landscape. So don't forget to check it out here!
Thank you for joining us today. Let's dive in!
A Word From This Edition’s Sponsor
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This Week’s Editorial
This Week in Indoor Farming
In this week's news related to indoor farming, AppHarvest Berea Farm, LLC, an arm of AppHarvest Inc., is facing two substantial hurdles that could threaten its fiscal standing, as revealed in a recent 8-K form. The company received a Notice of Default and Termination from their landlord, Mastronardi Berea LLC, for a leased location in Madison County, Kentucky, presenting the first issue. A pending interest payment that might lead to a default on a loan agreement with Equilibrium Sustainable Foods, LLC presents the second obstacle.
Mastronardi Berea accuses AppHarvest Berea of consistently violating their Lease Agreement, particularly Section 8.1(n) concerning maintaining minimum production volumes. As a result, Mastronardi can terminate the Lease, instigate legal action, and demanded AppHarvest Berea leave the premises. However, AppHarvest Berea disputes any breach and stands by its rights under the Lease and relevant law. Although discussions are ongoing to settle the dispute, the company concedes the possibility of an unfavorable outcome.
Concurrently, AppHarvest Berea is addressing a possible default on a Credit Agreement with Equilibrium due to an unpaid interest payment of roughly $455,720. If negotiations are unsuccessful, Equilibrium may resort to various measures, such as the legal repossession of a property in Richmond, Kentucky. Should AppHarvest Berea fail to address these issues effectively, it could significantly impair the company's financial stability and operational results, possibly leading to bankruptcy or insolvency. This situation underscores the fiscal and operational challenges in the agricultural industry amid prevailing uncertainties.
In other news, IUNU, a firm based in Seattle, has released its much-anticipated 2023 State of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) report. These yearly reports, a fixture in the industry since 2016, delve into the trials and prospects greenhouse operators face, providing valuable insights for industry stakeholders. The report aims to spot emerging trends, issues, and advantages in CEA, collating data from leading greenhouse operators across North America, which account for over 50 million square feet of growing space.
The 2023 report focuses on three key CEA areas: leafy greens, tomatoes, and ornamentals. It meticulously examines various aspects, such as technological innovation, labor-related issues, market conditions, and expansion possibilities. Allison Kopf, IUNU's Chief Growth Officer, emphasized the significance of 2023 for the CEA industry. Despite financial limitations, the sector is resilient and is not expected to slow down long-term. Instead, greenhouse operations concentrate on profitability and operational efficiency, creating exciting collaboration opportunities between tech firms and growers to attain scalability.
To produce a thorough and dependable report, IUNU partnered with the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, aiding in effective data gathering from growers and report compilation. IUNU's industry reports have been widely successful, with over 2 million downloads, and remain available to growers worldwide. Those interested in accessing the 2023 State of CEA report can do so via a link provided by the company.
VertiFarm | September 26 - 28 | Dortmund, Germany
Articles To Read
Empty Office Buildings Are Being Turned Into Vertical Farms | Smithsonian Magazine
With only three hours of human labour per week, new Ashburton indoor vertical farm mimics nature | Stuff.co.nz
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