Plenty's indoor vertical farm in Virginia will initially produce Driscoll's strawberries for distribution in the Northeast.
Plenty Unlimited Inc. is poised to build the largest indoor vertical farm in the world with a $300 million, 120-acre campus near Richmond, Va. Ground has already been broken on the new facility and it is expected to begin rolling out produce by late 2023 or early 2024.
The vertical farm company has plans to deploy several large-scale vertical farms on the Virginia campus in the coming years, and annual production capacity could exceed 20 million pounds for crops including strawberries, leafy greens and tomatoes. To start, the campus will grow Driscoll’s strawberries, and will be the first farm in the world to grow indoor, vertically farmed berries at scale.
“Through more than a decade of investment in research and development Plenty has cracked the code on a scalable platform that makes indoor farming increasingly economical,” said Arama Kukutai, CEO of San Francisco-based Plenty. “That innovation makes it possible for us to grow a wide variety of crops with a fraction of the land and up to 350x more yield per acre than conventional farms.”
Continued Kukutai: “Channeling that into the largest vertical farm complex in the world propels us to the level indoor farming has to operate at to truly transform our food system.”
About $300 million will be invested into the new campus over the next several years, and it will eventually produce Plenty’s signature pesticide-free leafy greens, using the company’s patented platform. The facility is slated to bring more than 300 jobs to Virginia.
“Plenty’s decision to establish its first major east coast vertical farming campus in Virginia shines a spotlight on the advantages that make the Commonwealth the best location in the nation for companies growing our food safely and sustainably indoors,” said Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. “This transformational project further bolsters Virginia’s agriculture and technology industries and positions the Commonwealth as a leader in this next generation of agriculture. I am pleased to welcome Plenty to Virginia and look forward to the company’s growth and success in Chesterfield County."