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 organizations had been known as upon to fill within the gaps in a approach 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 business to hit $1.38 billion by 2027, a compound annual progress price of 26.2 p.c from 2021 to 2027.
Listed here are what eight indoor-growing leaders are planning within the yr forward. The record 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 yr that quantity seemingly will skyrocket with the corporate’s April announcement of development on a 90,000-square-foot indoor vertical farm in Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest vertical farm.
In 2021, Aerofarms is taking up the difficulty of meals waste extra explicitly. It invested in Precision Indoor Vegetation (PIP) to assist perceive and forestall lettuce discoloration, experiment with methods to extend lettuce yield and degree up leaf high quality.
Appalachian firm AppHarvest has launched three indoor farms 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 cut back reliance and emissions from imported tomatoes. In 2019, 60 p.c of America’s tomatoes had been imported. The farms use a closed-loop system that runs solely off recycled rainwater to get rid of agricultural runoff and cut back water utilization.
Bowery Farming, based mostly in New York Metropolis, plans to take a position its 600 p.c enhance in gross sales final yr into a brand new vertical farm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 2021.
By working with the Pennsylvania Division of Neighborhood and Financial Growth and the Governor’s Motion Crew, Bowery is popping an arid industrial web site into eight.7 acres of contemporary farmland that additionally ought to assist the financial restoration of the realm. 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 totally 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 vegetation utilizing a water transpiration system and accumulate knowledge on an enormous scale to tell future farming selections.
With $100 million in new funding raised in 2020, BrightFarms plans to assemble indoor farms in each main market by 2025. This yr marks the beginning of that journey with the development of two new services in North Carolina and Massachusetts.
Each farms will likely be six to seven acres, or nearly 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, Brilliant OS, which can use machine studying and analytics to make operations from seed to shelf extra environment friendly.
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 yr Gotham tries to take over the remainder of the nation.
Because the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered so many companies, Gotham Greens was capable of increase into Aurora, Colorado, simply outdoors of Denver. The Colorado location is Gotham’s eighth indoor farm. It additionally expanded to Baltimore.
Lastly, in December, the corporate introduced an $87 million funding spherical. The funding will help Gotham Greens merchandise in Complete Meals Market, Albertsons Firms, Meijer, Goal, King Soopers, Harris Teeter, ShopRite and Sprouts.
In 2021, Infarm is hopping on a scorching business 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, one in all Tokyo’s main grocery store chains. The partnership will convey 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 yr with Publix to convey its vertical farms nearer to the buyer.
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 fast growth in 2021. The Orlando-based vertical farm firm is pushing into Atlanta, Denver and Houston this yr. This would be the firm’s third, fourth and fifth farms and the primary ones outdoors 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 will likely be greater than double the scale of the corporate’s Orlando services — capable of 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 help partnerships with grocers and eating places within the space.
Loads, based mostly in San Francisco, had an eventful remaining quarter of 2020 and is driving 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 customers recent candy strawberries yr spherical.
This yr, Loads plans to start development on the world largest output vertical farm in Compton, California. Upon completion, the farm would be the measurement of an enormous field retail retailer and can develop over 700 acres of leafy inexperienced crops.