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More Shoots of Growth in Indoor Farming With Expansions, Awards

Sustainable indoor agriculture organizations, including AeroFarms, AmplifiedAg, made headlines this week
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
More Shoots of Growth in Hydroponic Farming with Expansions, Awards
AeroFarms, which just broke ground on a the largest aeroponic indoor vertical farm, has received a Brand Excellence Award.

The field continues to widen for indoor farming.

On the heels of its May 4 announcement of a new brand identity and the recent groundbreaking of a new indoor vertical farm, AeroFarms of Newark, New Jersey, picked up a new award for its technology-enabled indoor agriculture operation. The certified B Corporation received a 2021 CEA Brand Excellence Award for its leadership in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA).

AeroFarms is one of 11 winners of the CEA Brand Excellence Award, which was judged by an independent committee comprised of agriculture professionals from several companies. The indoor vertical farm grows leafy greens using 95% less water and zero pesticides and sells its products in the Northeast through Whole Foods Market, ShopRite, FreshDirect, Amazon Fresh and Baldor Specialty Foods.

“We are honored to win the 2021 CEA Brand Excellence Award and look forward to expanding our customer reach and retail footprint with our grocery and e-commerce partners as we scale our operations further,” said David Rosenberg, co-founder and CEO of AeroFarms.

In other indoor agriculture news that underscores the future of this industry, Better Fresh Farms of Metter, Georgia, is expanding production of leafy greens with an automated hydroponic container farm and operating system from AmplifiedAg Inc.

The enterprise-scale farm is manufactured from upcycled shipping containers built to adhere to global food safety specifications for year-round indoor farming, even in warm, humid climates like Georgia. The AmplifiedAg system is designed to produce 800 to 1,000 pounds of leafy greens per harvest every three weeks and is run with 24/7 environment controls. Advanced software also enables traceability and analytics that help producers like Better Fresh Farms track sales and operations while optimizing crop growth.

“To have tracking processes that follow produce from growth all the way through to the sale is huge. It’s been cumbersome up until now, and it will save us money in the long run to have one efficient system instead of multiple programs,” said Grant Anderson, founder of Better Fresh Farms.

This is the latest partnership for Charleston, South Carolina-based AmplifiedAg, which owns and operates Vertical Roots. With produce in nearly 1,500 stores around the country, Vertical Roots is the largest hydroponic container farm in the world that produces leafy greens.

“We’ve spent the last five years developing a platform that proves our technology and shipping container farms can be used to operate a profitable produce business at scale,” said David Flynn, general manager of AmplifiedAg.

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