After a successful pilot, Vertical Field has signed an agreement with Israel's largest supermarket chain Rami Levy. As part of the multi-million dollar agreement, Vertical Field will install vertical farms at dozens of locations over the course of five years, enabling the supermarket chain to sell lettuce and other produce that grows vertically inside the company's proprietary geoponic (soil-based) container technology.
The produce sold is grown in a sterile indoor environment without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Furthermore, it is grown in controlled conditions, which ensures a consistent and predictable yield throughout the year with no seasonality or weather effects. The crops include lettuce, basil, parsley, kale, mint and more, and will be sold at competitive prices.
Vertical Field's solution is called a "vertical farm" and has been developed at the company's research headquarters in Ra'anana, Israel. Produce inside the farm grows vertically on the container's walls on a proprietary platform that is uniquely designed for vegetables to grow on a bed of nutrient-rich soil; the methods used increase efficiency, minimizing both water consumption and use of soil. Furthermore, the farms are maintained by regional farmers in order to strengthen the local agricultural sector.
The produce will be sold daily directly to clients after it has been harvested. Customers will have the option of purchasing the produce with the soil bedding that it was grown in, allowing the customers to enjoy all the nutritional benefits of a freshly harvested crop and a longer shelf life.
Guy Elitzur, the CEO of Vertical Field explains "One of the realizations that have surfaced during the COVID-19 crisis is the need to develop solutions that allow urban residents access to healthy food, with minimal human handling and without depending on transportation and shipping from remote locations. The portable urban farm that we have developed is designed to be located in indoor and outdoor spaces at supermarkets, restaurants, shopping malls, rooftops, and other on-premise locations.
Over the past year we conducted a number of successful pilot projects, and installed vertical farms adjacent to supermarkets and restaurants in the United States and Israel. We are delighted to be able to provide- and expand access to- healthy, and high-quality vegetables grown right outside the consumer's door."
Yafit Attias Levy, VP Marketing at Rami Levy said in a statement: "The Rami Levy chain understands the social responsibility that it has for customers as related to food security and supplying the highest quality products while maintaining low prices. Our customers bought Vertical Field's produce during the pilot, and returned to purchase more. Therefore, we have decided to expand the partnership with Vertical Field to additional branches of the supermarket, and to offer fresh, high-quality, and pesticide-free produce in a way that increases shelf-life for our customers."