Sunday Recap: New Vertical Farm Construction Start in Virginia

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This Week in Indoor Farming

Last Monday, July 31st, Plenty and Driscoll's partnership, which began with a focus on indoor strawberry growing research and development, took a significant step forward with constructing a new indoor vertical farm to serve the Northeastern United States. This new construction phase, known as the "going vertical" phase, was commemorated by officials, including Plenty's CEO, Arama Kukutai, and aims to provide the East Coast with fresh, pesticide-free produce starting next year. The initiative is also seen as a way to increase access to regionally-grown fruits and vegetables and potentially create new jobs.

Along with these promising benefits, Plenty's vertical farming technique harnesses technology like data analytics and machine learning to yield up to 350 times more produce per acre than traditional field farming. This method promotes the conservation of natural resources and the availability of nutritious food. The collaboration between Plenty and Driscoll specifically targets the growth of premium berries with an emphasis on quality attributes like flavor, texture, and size, aiming to offer consistent, high-quality products to one of the significant berry-consuming regions in the U.S.

DENSO Corporation has made a landmark decision to acquire the entire stake in the Dutch horticultural facility operator Certhon Group, renowned for its world-class technologies in horticulture. This move builds on a collaboration that began in March 2020 and aims to accelerate DENSO’s global agricultural production business, targeting urgent global issues such as climate change, labor shortages, and the need for sustainable farming. With Certhon's 125-year history of innovation, the acquisition will enable the combined strengths of both companies to address global food challenges, developing innovative farm models that will revolutionize agriculture by integrating DENSO’s process design and automation technologies with Certhon’s cultivation and horticultural system expertise.

Key figures from both companies have expressed excitement for the acquisition, recognizing shared values and complementary technologies that will further grow their partnership. The collaboration aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals, reflecting a commitment to societal problem-solving. By establishing a food value chain business that encompasses production, distribution, and consumption, DENSO and Certhon's partnership symbolizes a concerted effort to provide new value in the agriculture and food sectors, ensuring food safety and security and fostering ongoing innovation in alignment with sustainable practices.

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