When the pandemic uncovered main points with our prolonged meals provide chain — within the type of cargo delays and insufficient demand forecasting — native vertical farms and indoor rising operations (aka managed atmosphere greenhouses in city or rural areas) have been referred to as upon to fill within the gaps in a manner that was unprecedented.

With 2020 within the historical past books and hopes for an finish to the COVID-19 pandemic rising, these firms search to construct on their newfound momentum in 2021. With income for vertical farming alone estimated at simply $212.four million in 2019, one forecast requires the trade to hit $1.38 billion by 2027, a compound annual progress price of 26.2 p.c from 2021 to 2027.

Listed below are what eight leaders in vertical farming and managed atmosphere agriculture are planning within the 12 months forward. The checklist is introduced alphabetically and represents a slice of exercise cropping up in late 2020.


AeroFarms’ 4 New Jersey vertical farms produced 2 million kilos of produce in 2020. And this 12 months that quantity possible will skyrocket with the corporate’s April announcement of building on a 90,000-square-foot indoor vertical farm in Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest vertical farm.

In 2021, Aerofarms is taking over the difficulty of meals waste extra explicitly. It invested in Precision Indoor Crops (PIP) to assist perceive and stop lettuce discoloration, experiment with methods to extend lettuce yield and degree up leaf high quality.


Appalachian firm AppHarvest has launched three managed atmosphere greenhouses in Kentucky. It selected the state particularly as a result of it’s inside a day’s drive of 70 p.c of the U.S. inhabitants.

In early 2021, AppHarvest will harvest its first crop of tomatoes, a transfer meant to assist scale back reliance and emissions from imported tomatoes. In 2019, 60 p.c of America’s tomatoes have been imported. The services use a closed-loop system that runs solely off recycled rainwater to eradicate agricultural runoff and scale back water utilization.

Bowery Farming

Bowery Farming, based mostly in New York Metropolis, plans to speculate its 600 p.c improve in gross sales final 12 months into a brand new vertical farm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 2021.

By working with the Pennsylvania Division of Group and Financial Growth and the Governor’s Motion Group, Bowery is popping an arid industrial website into eight.7 acres of contemporary farmland that additionally ought to assist the financial restoration of the world. Bethlehem as soon as was a thriving metal city with Bethlehem Metal Company as soon as using round 60 p.c of the native workforce at its peak earlier than shutting down in 1998.

Since then, town has needed to transition into completely different sectors. Bowery Farming hopes to be a part of that evolution. Its farm will create 70 jobs and have LED lighting, recapture water from the crops utilizing a water transpiration system and gather information on an enormous scale to tell future farming decisions. 


With $100 million in new funding raised in 2020, BrightFarms plans to assemble greenhouses in each main market by 2025. This 12 months marks the beginning of that journey with the development of two new services in North Carolina and Massachusetts. 

Each farms can be six to seven acres, or virtually double the corporate’s present services in Ohio, Illinois and Virginia. In 2021, BrightFarm, which makes its headquarters in Irvington, New York, additionally plans to roll out its proprietary AI System, Vivid OS, which is able to use machine studying and analytics to make operations from seed to shelf extra environment friendly.  

Gotham Greens

Gotham Greens has been on the forefront of city farming for over a decade. After beginning in New York and increasing throughout the northeast, 2021 would be the 12 months Gotham tries to take over the remainder of the nation.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered so many companies, Gotham Greens was in a position to increase into Aurora, Colorado, simply exterior of Denver. The Colorado location is Gotham’s eighth greenhouse. It additionally expanded to Baltimore.

Lastly, in December, the corporate introduced an $87 million funding spherical. The funding will assist Gotham Greens merchandise in Entire Meals Market, Albertsons Corporations, Meijer, Goal, King Soopers, Harris Teeter, ShopRite and Sprouts.


In 2021, Infarm is hopping on a sizzling trade development — bringing the vertical farm to the grocery retailer.

In late December, the Berlin-based firm introduced a partnership with Sumitomo, a Japanese firm that owns Summit Retailer, certainly one of Tokyo’s main grocery store chains. The partnership will deliver Infarm’s modular vertical farm on to grocery shops.

With this transfer, Infarm is increasing on its in-store technique first experimented with Kroger in Berlin in 2020. Brick Avenue Farms additionally partnered final 12 months with Publix to deliver its vertical farms nearer to the patron.

Infarm will set up its first farm at Summit’s Gotanno location and merchandise are scheduled to be prepared on the market on the finish of January.


Kalera additionally plans a speedy growth in 2021. The Orlando-based vertical farm firm is pushing into Atlanta, Denver and Houston this 12 months. This would be the firm’s third, fourth and fifth farms and the primary ones exterior Florida.

The Houston services would be the largest vertical farm in Texas whereas the Atlanta location would be the highest manufacturing quantity vertical farm within the Southeast. The Atlanta one can be greater than double the dimensions of the corporate’s Orlando services — in a position to produce 11 million heads of lettuce.

And in December Kalera introduced it’s increasing into the Pacific Northwest in Seattle. These new services will assist Kalera assist partnerships with grocers and eating places within the space.


Loads, based mostly in San Francisco, had an eventful ultimate quarter of 2020 and is using that momentum into 2021.

In August, the indoor farming firm introduced a partnership with Albertsons to increase into greater than 430 shops in Southern California. It adopted up that transfer in October with a $140 million funding spherical led by Softbank and a historic partnership with Driscoll’s to present shoppers recent candy strawberries year-round.

This 12 months, Loads plans to start building on the world largest output vertical farm in Compton, California. Upon completion, the farm would be the dimension of an enormous field retail retailer and can develop over 700 acres of leafy inexperienced crops.

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