“We’ve proven that the technology works so now it’s our time to bring that to more and more communities,” says Noah Zelkind, Director of Business Development at 80 Acres Farms.
80 Acres Farms is a vertical farming company that currently operates eight indoor farms and produces a wide product line including tomatoes, cucumbers, leafy greens, herbs and microgreens.
80 Acres’ mission is to be a major provider of fresh, healthy food to consumers and believes that product variety is crucial to achieving this mission. The company is looking forward to introducing strawberries to its product line in the near future, following by blackberries and raspberries.
“We have had tremendous loyalty from customers and consumers with our current products. We are excited to expand our product line with different varieties,” explains Rebecca Haders, VP Creative Marketing.
Improving food access through retail
In early 2021, 80 Acres announced its partnership with Kroger, a major retailer both in the United States and globally, which brought its products into 316 stores and online through their Ocado fulfillment center in the US Midwest. This partnership, according to Zelkind, has been key to the company’s mission to improve access to fresh, healthy food.
“As the largest retailer in the US and globally, Kroger serves a broad range of people. Working with them helps up fulfill our mission of providing fresh, healthy food to all people because we are on the shelves and not at a premium price,” explains Noah Zelkind.
Local food movements have certainly sparked consumers’ interest in local agriculture and has allowed many indoor farms to establish a consistent local consumer base. However, scaling that effect is a major challenge in the vertical farming industry and one that 80 Acres mitigates through its partnerships with strong retailers.
New facilities planned in coming years
In addition to expanding its product line, 80 Acres Farms is planning to build new facilities in the near future. While locations have yet to be disclosed, the company notes that some of these planned facilities will be in the United States while additional facilities have the potential to make 80 Acres an international vertical farming company.
80 Acres’ ambitious expansion and product development plans have been made possible in part by the $160 million in funding announced on August 9, 2021. As Noah notes, 80 Acres is honored by the different partners that the company has brought on through this round of funding, including General Atlantic, Siemens, Blue Earth, and BeyondNetZero.
“We spent a lot of time preparing to take this next step and are really excited to do so. We’ve taken a purposeful approach to our fundraising strategy as we’re beginning to see global trend around sustainability taking things to the next level and creating change,” says Noah.