US: Indoor grower adds four new regional salad greenhouse hubs


Hortidaily, March 2, 2023

BrightFarms is expanding with four new regional greenhouse hubs offering sustainably grown leafy greens to more people across the Eastern and Central U.S. The new locations will begin shipping to retailers in 2024. “This expansion is expected to set BrightFarms up for 10x revenue growth”, the company says. 

Construction is underway on the first regional hub in Yorkville, Illinois, and BrightFarms will break ground on similar facilities in Macon, Georgia, and Lorena, Texas, this summer, followed by another hub in the Northeast later this year. Each location is positioned near a major metropolitan area and has a combined up to 200-acre footprint with the ability to produce approximately 150 million pounds of leafy greens per year once complete. Each regional hub will also create more than 250 jobs in the agricultural sector.

“We grow our greens where people consume them, 365 days per year,” says Steve Platt, chief executive officer. “With these hubs underway, we’re excited to deliver the fresh, clean, responsibly grown produce to two-thirds of the U.S. in a way that benefits the health of our consumers and the planet while also providing fair and equitable wages and benefits to agricultural workers.”

To facilitate this expansion, BrightFarms is proud to partner with KUBO Group and Green Automation Group to build advanced indoor farms. KUBO’s Ultra-Clima technology delivers a climate control system that is stable and both efficient and sustainable, equaling higher produce yields, less variability, improved food safety, and greater resource efficiency. BrightFarms also partnered with Green Automation Group on the design and implementation of its Mobile Gutter System (MGS), which will fully automate the growing and harvesting process, leading to record yields and improved food safety.

BrightFarms’ greenhouse model also puts sustainability initiatives at the forefront, helping to further its commitment to the planet. By growing in a controlled automated environment close to the point of consumption, BrightFarms’ greenhouses use less water, land, and shipping fuel and zero pesticides compared to field-grown produce.

Cox Enterprises acquired BrightFarms in 2021. This acquisition marked a significant shift in the growth of the CEA industry.

“Like Cox Enterprises, BrightFarms is committed to creating a better future,” said Steve Bradley, vice president of cleantech for Cox Enterprises. “This is another step towards investing and innovating controlled environment agriculture for the next generation. Cox is excited to partner in efforts to push the boundaries of possibility for indoor farming and help build a multibillion-dollar business.”