This Week's Top 10 Indoor Vertical Farming News - 3rd June

Discover our weekly top 10 news from the indoor vertical farming industry worldwide.

Good morning readers, leading consultancy firm receiving strategic investment, a sustainability vision, new partnerships, and much more!

The 2nd global vertical farming show is around the corner, register here to participate in this live event from Dubai! 

Here are the top 10 CEA News of the week:

1- Agritecture Receives Strategic Investment From Priva

Agritecture announced this week a strategic investment by Priva, a technology company globally active in food security and energy transition.

As a leading agritech solution for people and plants, Priva shares the same objectives to accelerate and empower the transition to smarter and resilient farming. Building on thousands of successful projects around the world since its creation in 1959, Priva benefits from unparalleled experience in the industry. Furthermore, its current CEO, Meiny Prins, leads the Sustainable Urban Delta Foundation, an organization seeking to inspire and support (mega)cities to become food-producing cities.

The investment will specifically fund the next stage of technology development for Agritecture, allowing the firm to intelligently connect CEA business owners with vetted equipment, technology, and financing providers from Agritecture’s Partner Network.

2- Infarm Publishes Its First Sustainability Vision

Infarm, the rapidly growing global vertical farming company, published a comprehensive Impact Vision Paper that states the company’s vision for the impact of the future of food. Infarm is the first company in the vertical farming sector that has outlined its strengths and challenges, plans, ambitions, and commitment to transparency and sustainability as such. The Vision Paper includes Infarm’s net-zero carbon approach and actions the company is taking in its ‘Big Four’ impact areas: local production and urban farming, land use and biodiversity, carbon and energy, and water.

Sudhanshu Sarronwala, Chief Impact Officer at Infarm: “In our Impact Vision Paper, we define our focus areas and set ambitious sustainability targets for the near future. As the first-mover, we outline both strengths and challenges. We hope that this encourages other Food and AgTech companies to take their approach to sustainability and transparency to the next level as well. While we have to produce more food than ever before to feed the growing population, we don’t have enough land or natural resources to do so as we have done till now. Therefore, we strongly believe in a new generation of Food and AgTech companies as a crucial alternative to traditional farming.”

3- Nutrifresh Raises USD 5 Million in Pre-Seed Round

Nutrifresh Farm Tech India Pvt. Ltd has raised $5 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Theodore Cleary (Archer Investments), Sandiip Bhammer (Green Frontier Capital), Sky Kurtz (Pure Harvest AE), and Mathew Cyriac (Florintree Advisors and ex-Blackstone India), among other investors.

The startup plans to deploy the fresh capital to scale up operations, implement better traceability and transparency of produce, marketing, and create an integrated farm-tech platform.

Founded by Sanket Mehta and Ganesh Nikam, Nutrifresh aims to provide consistent pesticide-free hydroponic produce that is nutrient-rich. Its clientele includes over 100 plus business-to-business (B2B) aggregators in the Indian market such as Nature’s Basket, Big Basket, Swiggy, Kissan Konnect, McDonald’s, Venky’s, Amazon Fresh, and Reliance Fresh, among others.

4- Sunway XFarms To Open Largest Farm In Kuala Lumpur

Created during the pandemic, the company was founded by Sunway Property and Sunway Education Group. It has since produced food for more than 1,800 families wither over 15,000 kg of leafy greens grown and harvested in Sunway’s smart sustainable city in Kuala Lumpur.

The new farm, expected to have a surface area of 37,000 sqft is estimated to be able to produce at least 13,000kg of fresh and pesticide-free vegetables per month.

5- urban-gro Signs MoU for the Turn-key Design Build With E29 Labs

 urban-gro, Inc. (Nasdaq: UGRO), a fully integrated architectural design, engineering, procurement, and construction management (“EPC”) design-build firm specializing in horticulture, and more specifically, value-added indoor Controlled Environment Agriculture (“CEA”), announced that it has signed an agreement with E29 Labs, Inc., (“E29 Labs”) a black, woman-owned commercial cannabis production company, to provide full architecture, engineering, and design services for their application to build an approximately 100,000 square foot cannabis production facility located in New York State. Upon securing a license, the agreement provides that urban-gro will be E29 Labs’ design-build partner to complete the build out of its facility.

E29 Labs, co-founded by Shelley Roberts, Sheldon Roberts, and cannabis-business veteran Michael Dundas, is well positioned to be a market leader in New York’s new commercial cannabis cultivation and processing industry, bringing years of knowledge, best practices, and commercial success to this operation.

6- Unfold Partners With Sustenir To Create Local Superfoods

The partnership between Unfold & Sustenir will produce vertical farm plant varieties with better nutritional value and provide a higher yield for Sustenir’s operations in key Asian markets.

Sustenir, a transformative indoor vertical farming leader, and Unfold, a company that combines leading seed genetics with crop growing and agronomic expertise to advance the vertical farming industry, announced their collaboration to create new locally grown superfoods for supermarkets in key Asian markets. Through the partnership, Sustenir and Unfold extensively share data to accelerate the selection of high-performing plant varieties for vertical farms that have better nutritional value and that provide a higher yield.

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7- Future Crops Moves to 100% Renewable Energy

Future Crops, Ltd., has taken its vertical farm a further step off the grid by shifting to rely on 100% renewable energy. Harnessing the natural green powers of solar and wind energy, the company also is solving the primary hurdle to bringing the industry to a substantially greater carbon-neutral position, all while advancing its sustainability goals.

Throughout the past decade, vertical farms raised as a solution to further bolstering our current food supply chain resilience and offering locally produced food to the end-users. Multistory indoor farms optimize land use and enable to grow in urban or peri-urban regions. Nonetheless, they have been often pointed out as an energy-intensive growing method.

Future Crops operates a state-of-the-art, multilevel indoor vertical farm in ABC Westland, Netherlands, the greenhouse hub of Europe. The facility grows a broad portfolio of pesticide-free leafy green vegetables and herbs. While many such facilities rely on hydroponics, the scale-up developed a unique, proprietary soil substrate in which to grow crops, bringing the vertical farm concept closer to nature and the earth.

8- Goodleaf Farms Partners With Well Juicery

Adding another checkmark to its commitment to better practices, Canadian juice and superfood beverage brand Well is announcing its partnership with indoor farming industry leaders GoodLeaf Farms.

This opportunity marks a significant step toward the brand’s mission of bringing fresher juices to Canadians. Based in Guelph, Ontario, GoodLeaf’s super spinach will travel the short distance to Well’s processing facility in Toronto, resulting in a fresher end product with higher nutritional values.

“The negative impact of current farming practices on the earth is a fact that many brands choose to ignore. At Well, we prioritize a sustainable process that looks to local supply first to ensure juices and elixirs are the best they can be – for both our consumers and our planet. If you are already invested in drinking ‘green juices,’ you should reach for the most nutritional and environmentally responsible option – when you choose Well, you’re also drinking the most delicious option on the market,” shares Well’s Co-Founder Jeff Tumbach.

9- Fluence Collaboration Shows Higher Yields, Lower Energy Consumption

Fluence, a leading global provider of energy-efficient LED lighting solutions for commercial cannabis and food production, announced its research collaboration with JEM Farms, a Kingsville, Ontario-based cultivation facility, to explore the effects of LED-only lighting strategies compared to high-pressure sodium (HPS). Early results from the collaboration show that crops lit by 100% LED lighting technology saw a 10% increase in yield with a simultaneous 40% reduction in energy consumption compared to the area under HPS fixtures.

As the president and director of JEM Farms, Jamie and Paul J. Mastronardi oversee more than 50 acres of greenhouse facilities that produce cucumbers, mini cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and beefsteak tomatoes. Wholly focused on delivering exceptional products to the local Canadian market and surrounding regions year-round, the JEM Farms team has optimized facilities to include advanced supplemental lighting that enables the farm to produce throughout the winter months. Within the company’s expansive greenhouse footprint sits its specialized, two-acre facility dedicated to research and development. Here, JEM Farms trials and analyzes new technology to future-proof their facilities through the industry’s most advanced cultivation practices.

10- VIDEO: Singapore’s Vision For Food Security

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