AeroFarms on Tuesday unveiled what it says is the world’s largest aeroponic smart farm.
The 140,000 square-foot indoor facility, located in Danville, Virginia, is capable of growing more than 3 million pounds of fresh leafy greens annually.
AeroFarms, a Certified B Corporation founded in 2004, has been named one of the world’s most innovative companies by Fast Company for two years in a row. The Danville facility’s features hint at why AeroFarms has earned such acclaim.
Among the key stats associated with AeroFarms Danville:
- The facility is capable of serving over 50 million consumers within a day’s drive
- The facility will also feature 50% water savings
“This grand opening is an incredible milestone for AeroFarms as we scale our company to meet increased customer demand both here in the United States and globally,” said AeroFarms CEO David Rosenberg in a press release.
AeroFarms’ leafy greens are grown indoors, year-round, in facilities that don’t require pesticides, the company said. The company’s aeroponic tactics provide nutrient-rich mist targeted at plants’ roots. The new facility’s distribution will build on the company’s existing relationships with retailers such as Ahold Delhaize, Amazon Fresh, Harris Teeter, Walmart, and Whole Foods, reported The Virginian Review.
AeroFarms, which is headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, has obtained assistance for the Danville facility from the likes of Virginia Tech for workforce development assistance and plant testing. The Danville facility is expected to add 158 jobs to the area.
“Rising transportation costs and droughts in the western United States will mean East Coast states like Virginia must reorient our supply chain for fresh produce to more local suppliers,” said Matthew Lohr, secretary of agriculture and forestry, in a statement.
“While painful, this situation also creates an important opportunity for [Virginia] to become a national leader in the fast-growing indoor farming industry,” Lohr added.