As indoor vertical farming continues to grow, so, too, has AeroFarms’ executive team as it welcomes Dane Almassy as VP of sales.
Almassy will help drive further retail expansion to meet increasing consumer demand for the indoor vertical-farming company’s produce.
Growing environmental concerns, such as the depletion of soil quality and groundwater due to the application of chemical-based solutions, have increased the vertical-farming system's adoption. Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market is even experimenting with vertical farming, having partnered with Infarm last year to offer customers a range of fresh produce.
With almost 20 years of CPG sales experience with companies like Earthbound Farm, Aurora Organic Dairy and PepsiCo Inc., Almassy will combine his passion for sustainable agriculture and his expertise in strategic selling, supply-chain innovation, category management and field execution to lead sales and expand distribution into new channels and geographies.
Last year, AeroFarms revealed that it was building a 90,000-square-foot indoor vertical farm in Abu Dhabi, which will be the world’s largest of its kind. The farm will be dedicated to R&D and commercialization of relevant local crops using AeroFarms’ expertise and proprietary indoor vertical-farming technology that uses up to 95% less water and zero pesticides, versus traditional field farming.
To help meet this growth, AeroFarms made other key hires more than a year ago to build out its leadership team: Kraft Foods alum Andreas Sokollek joined as COO; former Campbell’s Soup Co. exec Stacy Kimmel, Ph.D., became VP of R&D; and Google vet MaryAlice Feinstein joined as chief people officer. In addition, Mark Boyland joined during the summer of 2020 as general counsel. Boyland started his career working for the U.S. Department of Justice.
“These key executive hires, each with deep industry expertise, have been helping us further capitalize on opportunities around the world as we continue to scale and build out our incredible culture and team, all aligned around our mission of growing the best plants possible for the betterment of humanity,” said David Rosenberg, AeroFarms co-founder and CEO.
In addition to these key executive hires, AeroFarms last year added James C. Borel to its board of directors. Borel has more than 40 years of experience in the global agriculture and food industry, and until early 2016, he was EVP and member of the DuPont Office of the Chief Executive, where he had responsibility for the company’s global agriculture and food ingredient businesses.
Based in Newark, New Jersey, AeroFarms’ patented, award-winning indoor vertical-farming technology provides the ideal conditions for healthy plants to thrive all year round. The company is also leading the way for agriculture, from genetics to post-harvest. AeroFarms has grown more than 850 different varieties of crops and sees potential even beyond food production to extend to other verticals like pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical and nutraceutical.