Kalera celebrated their first harvest in their Atlanta-area facility. “Our new Atlanta facility is open and performing in line with our expectations and we are eager to begin offering our local, fresh, safe, sustainable greens to the Georgia market,” said Daniel Malechuk, CEO of Kalera.
Its largest farm to date: the facility is 77 thousand square feet and has the capability of producing over 10 million heads of lettuce per year. Located in Forest Park, GA, the farm was built in just eleven months thanks in large part to the company’s modular building approach and has created dozens of new jobs in the Atlanta area.
“Our customers are telling us that there has never been a better time to ensure supply continuity, locally, than now and we are grateful Kalera can provide this.”
Kalera’s optimized nutrient and light recipes allow them to grow high-quality, pesticide-free, non-GMO produce at accelerated growth cycles. Planting at the Atlanta facility began in early March, and the first harvest began successfully last week. Kalera has so far experienced optimal operating efficiencies in Atlanta, particularly in terms of lighting productivity. All growth systems, environmental equipment, and technology have operated effectively since opening the facility on March 11. Due to strong sales indications in the region from both retail and foodservice customers, Kalera is implementing a faster ramp-up schedule than originally planned.
The facility’s location near the urban center of Atlanta cuts down on travel times for retailers, restaurants, and other customers who want access to the freshest, non-GMO, clean living lettuces and microgreens. Royal Food Service, a produce distributor in the state, is one of Kalera’s top partners bringing “pick-to-plate” greens to restaurants, hotels, schools, and other businesses including Ansley Golf Club, The Ritz-Carlton at Reynolds, Lake Oconee, The Georgia World Congress Center, several restaurants and many others. The lettuce is also available on the shelves of Publix Supermarkets.
“As the former Governor of Georgia, I could not be more excited that Kalera’s delicious greens are now available in the Atlanta area,” said Sonny Perdue, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, who joined Kalera’s Board of Directors earlier this year. “Kalera is leading the pack in the vertical farming industry. It’s a perfect example of the power of American innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship to develop different, innovative ways to grow and provide food at home and around the globe.”