US (MA): Inside agtech startup Evergreens Farms' scalable vertical farms

“We can grow 300 to 400 times the amount of product at the same square foot as compared to a field farm,” said Evergreens Farms founder and CEO Ahmad Zameli. “That's because we stack everything up and because the cycles are a lot faster than field farming.”

The company, which grows everything indoors, currently has four products: baby arugula, baby kale, an arugula-and-cress mix and a brassica mix. The ability to grow produce indoors also allows for an increase in crop production, since the plants aren’t dependent on the seasons. Instead, the produce is grown year-round.

Zameli, who studied industrial engineering at Northeastern University, founded Evergreens in 2017. He originally planned to set the company up in the Middle East; Zameli is Lebanese and grew up in Saudi Arabia.

“My dream was to take indoor farming and bring it to the Middle East, specifically to Saudi Arabia—take it home because 90 percent, if not 100 percent, of all of our fresh food in Saudi Arabia is flown in from outside the country,” Zameli said. “The supply chain is really, really crazy. There's a lot of waste in the product, and the carbon footprint is massive.”

He initially wanted to buy indoor farming technology and grow food locally through a network of farms across the region. However, the farming technology that existed couldn’t operate at a large enough scale to turn a profit.

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