Vertical Roots opened its third indoor farm in Atlanta, Georgia this June. The company partnered with two of the leading Southeastern produce suppliers, Collins Brothers Produce and Phoenix Wholesale Foodservice, to place the farm directly at their facilities. The new Atlanta farm site will eliminate the need for produce transportation to the distributor and allow Vertical Roots lettuce to be delivered to local customers the same day it’s harvested.
Located within the Atlanta State Farmers Market, this is phase one of the company’s Atlanta expansion. With farm production underway, Vertical Roots Georgia Grown™ lettuce will be available in grocery stores in July 2021.
Farming directly at distribution hubs is a part of Vertical Roots’ distinctive strategy to eliminate a massive leg of produce transportation in order to reduce emissions and provide communities with fresh, locally-grown produce. The new Atlanta farmsite will reduce produce transportation by an estimated 300 miles per delivery and will help meet the company’s retail demand that services grocery stores across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, as well as restaurants, universities, and schools.
“A large part of our mission is to grow food as close to the point of consumption as possible, and this farmsite accomplishes just that,” said Andrew Hare, co-founder and general manager of Vertical Roots. “The Collins family are esteemed produce industry leaders for three generations, and we’re ecstatic about the unique grower–supplier partnership that we’ve cultivated.”
David Collins, President of Collins Brothers & Phoenix Wholesale Foodservice, said, "At Collins Brothers and Phoenix Wholesale, we've had the privilege to work with dedicated farmers across the country for decades. We're thrilled to partner with Vertical Roots as they bring an innovative way of farming to the agriculture industry. We look forward to this relationship as we share a like-minded mission in providing our customers with high quality, fresh, local produce."
Vertical Roots indoor farms are manufactured from upcycled shipping containers at the company’s headquarters in Charleston, SC. The farm containers made their way to Atlanta on June 8, where farmers started seeding and transplanting to produce Vertical Roots lettuce within weeks.
A small footprint with a large output, the new farm will produce half a million heads of lettuce this year. Each 320-square-foot container maximizes the growing space with 3,400 plants per harvest and up to 17 harvests per year.
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