“With most of the nation’s greens grown on the West Coast, we’re thrilled to be able to provide Midwest customers year-round access to hyper-local produce. With our centrally located farm facility, we are able to reduce travel times from days and weeks to mere hours,” said Daniel Malechuk, Kalera CEO.
Kalera announced it will begin construction on a facility in the Columbus, Ohio area, slated to open in 2021. With this news, Kalera enters the Midwest, giving the region’s grocers, restaurants, theme parks, airports, schools and hospitals reliable access to clean, safe, nutritious, price-stable, long-lasting vertically-grown greens. The facility will generate approximately 65 jobs.
The announcement of the Columbus facility comes on the heels of a series of announcements made by Kalera, including new facilities to be built in Atlanta, Houston, Denver, and Seattle; the addition of two new members to the Board of Directors, including CEO of Red Lobster, Kim Lopdrup; and the completion of over $150 million in fundraising this year.
“Many regions across the country, including the Midwest, typically only have access to produce that is bred to endure long shipping times, sacrificing flavor and freshness for durability. We’re proud and excited for our Midwest customers to experience the enhanced flavor and nutrition profile of greens that are picked and delivered at the height of freshness.”
As of this announcement, Kalera is slated to have seven commercial growing facilities open and operating across the US by the end of next year. Kalera currently operates two growing facilities in Orlando, and is constructing facilities in Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, and Denver which will also open in 2021.
Kalera utilizes cleanroom technology and processes to eliminate the use of chemicals and remove exposure to pathogens. Kalera's plants grow while consuming 95% less water compared to field farming.
"We welcome Kalera’s plans for its first investment in Ohio, which brings an innovative hydroponic agriculture operation and 65 new jobs to the Columbus Region,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef. “Demand for Kalera’s non-GMO produce has soared, and Ohio talent at this advanced facility will utilize the latest in vertical hydroponic farming technology to expand its growing U.S. customer base.”
City officials anticipate Kalera's operations will provide many benefits for Columbus residents. “We’re happy to welcome Kalera to Columbus – a high-growth company doing really cutting edge work with sustainably sourced and locally grown produce,” said City of Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Columbus continues to be a location companies choose to create, test, and launch innovative technologies and businesses.”