Next-generation Model 5 farm to advance leadership in plant science and technology, drive continuous innovation and expand leafy greens business in Mid-Atlantic region. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Virginia Secretary of Agriculture Bettina Ring and other state and community leaders, join AeroFarms representatives for groundbreaking ceremony
AeroFarms, a certified B Corporation and leader in indoor vertical farming, today announced the ground breaking of its second commercial indoor vertical farm in Danville-Pittsylvania County, Virginia.
Elected officials from Pittsylvania County and the City of Danville, along with Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture Bettina Ring and other state and community leaders, will join AeroFarms representatives for a groundbreaking ceremony this morning to celebrate the beginning of construction of the 136,000 square foot farm.
“We congratulate AeroFarms on launching construction of its state-of-the-art facility in Cane Creek Centre,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “The Commonwealth’s history is rooted in agribusiness, and the completion of the world’s largest and most advanced indoor vertical farm will enhance this booming industry. We thank AeroFarms for choosing Southern Virginia, and look forward to supporting its success.”
“Innovation and new technologies have always been the driving forces behind the success of Virginia’s largest private sector industry, agriculture,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “By choosing to establish their largest production facility to date here in the Commonwealth, AeroFarms is ensuring that Virginia is a leader in indoor vertical farming.”
Coming online in the second quarter of 2022, AeroFarms’ next-generation Model 5 farm will be the largest and most technologically advanced aeroponic indoor vertical farm in the world. Strategically located in close proximity to more than 1,000 food retailers in the region, the Danville farm will provide access to approximately 50 million people located within a day’s drive. The new farm will advance AeroFarms’ leadership in plant science and technology and expand its leafy greens business to the Mid-Atlantic region with brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce partners, building upon existing relationships that include Whole Foods Market, ShopRite, Baldor, Amazon Fresh and FreshDirect.
“The science, technology and innovation that underpin our platform allows us to drive superior unit economics and scale up our business to deliver on our mission of growing the best plants possible for the betterment of humanity,” said David Rosenberg, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AeroFarms. “Our customers love our leafy greens, which consistently win on quality, flavor, taste and texture. We are excited to break ground on our new farm, expand our retail presence in the region and bring our exceptional, great tasting products to more customers.”
The Danville farm will feature AeroFarms’ proprietary and cutting-edge agSTACK technology, creating a fully connected and digitally controlled farm that integrates hardware, automation, intelligent controls and sensors, machine learning, machine vision, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), and manufacturing execution systems to create a powerful data loop. By collecting and analyzing data through its 26 crop turns per year, AeroFarms’ team of engineers, plant scientists, and programmers gather insights about plants, and apply these learnings for the continuous improvement of its farms, which yield annual productivity up to 390 times greater than traditional field farming, while using up to 95% less water and zero pesticides.
Rosenberg continued, “Danville-Pittsylvania County is the perfect location to introduce our next-generation Model 5 farm that will be able to serve the more than 1,000 food retailers in the region. Our new farm will deepen our established retailer partnerships even further and make our sustainably grown, pesticide-free and always fresh leafy greens available throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, while also creating high-quality jobs in the area. This new facility represents an inflection point in our growth trajectory as we scale our technology and expand our retail distribution footprint and customer reach.”