Upward Farms Announces Expansion of Network With New Indoor Vertical Farm; Jason Green Comments
NEW YORK - Pennsylvania will soon become a little greener as New York-based Upward Farms announced plans to expand its footprint as it builds another vertical indoor farm in Luzerne County.
“Farming is one of the sectors that’s both highly exposed to the perils of climate change and one of its key drivers,” said Jason Green, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Upward Farms. “Solutions for food production that are good for people and the planet are sorely needed. With the construction of the world’s largest vertical farm—our third aquaponic vertical farm overall—we’re demonstrating the power of nature and nurture, adding our proprietary Ecological Intelligence to the accelerating trend of indoor and vertical farming. With this new facility, we’ll be able to reach some of the most populous areas of the U.S., and nearly 100 million Americans, within a single day of distribution versus the week it can take to receive products from the West Coast. This is a local success story with massive global implications for how and where food is grown, and the next generation of manufacturing technology.”
The new 250,000-square-foot facility is slated to be complete and operational in early 2023—providing fresh, locally sourced microgreens and sustainably raised hybrid striped bass to consumers throughout the Northeast and beyond. According to the release, Upward Farms’ aquaponic platform combines the precision, scalability, and year-round freshness of indoor farming with the benefits of a whole ecosystem and microbiome-rich regenerative agriculture where the waste from the fish is transformed into organic fertilizer for the leafy greens. An all-in-one cycle circle of life if I ever saw one.
The facility localizes the production of what is one of the most dislocated perishable foods, as 90 percent of leafy greens are grown on the West Coast and 90 percent of seafood is imported, therefore increasing access to fresh, healthy, delicious, and responsibly grown food.
Not only will the new facility in Pennsylvania be on average two to four times bigger, but it is also climate-resilient, as it reduces water and land use by 95 percent. The facility will conserve more than 100 million gallons of water and more than 120 acres of land on an annual basis, potentially eliminating 1.7 million food transportation miles per year.
While the company is focused on near-term success in the nearly $10 billion U.S. packaged salad market, the company’s Ecological Intelligence solution provides natural solutions for the biotechnology sector, where the value of the microbiome is on the rise. In healthcare, the microbiome is already a $58 billion market ($100 billion 2025E), and agbiotech is a $32 billion market ($56 billion 2025E).
Upward Farms is far from slowing down; the company is currently planning continued expansion to new markets across the U.S. in 2023 and beyond.
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