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Sunday Wrap Up: InFarm Netherlands Goes Bankrupt
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This Week in Indoor Farming: iFarm's Radish Innovations and NatureSweet's Sustainable Snacking Tomatoes
iFarm, a pioneer in IT-driven agriculture, has successfully developed an indoor radish cultivation technology after three years of extensive research. This breakthrough approach guarantees prolific radish yields with a minimal 3% defect rate. Their journey entailed overcoming challenges such as identifying resilient radish varieties, fine-tuning temperature ranges, and devising a unique nutrient solution. These efforts led to the optimal growth conditions of nighttime temperatures at 19°C and daytime temperatures around 22°C. As a result, iFarm's vertical farms produce an impressive 5.56 kg of radishes per square meter every month. Looking forward, iFarm aims to further optimize their techniques, with aspirations to reduce production costs by nearly 30%, solidifying their position as frontrunners in agricultural advancement.
In recent events, Infarm - Indoor Urban Farming B.V., the Dutch arm of the vertical farming giant Infarm, has filed for bankruptcy following a grant of payment deferment. The declaration comes as a shock to the AgTech sector, especially given Infarm's substantial fundraising feats in the past. The key takeaways from this development include:
Bankruptcy Declaration: The bankruptcy has been declared by the Dutch branch following a deferment of payment.
Core Operations Unaffected: Reports from Vertical Farm Daily affirm that Infarm's core trading operations remain untouched, including their operational farm in Toronto.
Significant Past Funding: Infarm has had strong financial backing, with over $604.5 million amassed in funding over the preceding years.
Challenges Faced: Operational challenges last year led to employee layoffs and facility shutdowns due to the energy crisis in Europe.
Case Curator Appointed: R. Suurmond, an Amsterdam-based curator, has been entrusted with managing the bankruptcy case and is awaiting a response.
NatureSweet, North America's largest vertically integrated agricultural company, is introducing its bite-sized snacking tomatoes, including Cherubs®, Glorys®, and Constellation®, to the food service industry. These greenhouse-grown tomatoes promise consistent quality, sustainability, and year-round availability. NatureSweet is piloting its Food Service program with two national restaurant chains. The company is committed to sustainability and boasts certifications such as Fair Trade, EFI, and B Corp, reflecting its dedication to social, environmental, and economic impact. Greenhouse farming by NatureSweet uses 87% less land, offers year-round employment, and produces eight times more food, underscoring the benefits over traditional farming.