Startup finds more uses for shipping container farms

Sustainability has made great fodder for discussion this month, as Earth Day has become a key date for sharing progress towards environmental goals. As it works towards improving sustainability and food security across the farm-to-table chain, one startup company, FarmBox Foods, is developing perennial solutions that range from actual livestock fodder to onsite production of fresh greens at consumer-facing sites, including grocery stores, restaurants, schools, and community groups.

FarmBox’s ecosystem-based approach determines the best uses for its automated, climate-controlled container farms. The Colorado-based company offers vertical hydroponic farms used to grow greens and herbs with minimal energy and water, as well as gourmet mushroom farms.

Natural Grocers was an early adopter of the concept in the grocery sector, adding the small-footprint container farms to some of its locations to grow organic lettuce. Natural Grocers can now provide fresher greens while cutting down on transportation emissions and costs and is planning on expanding the use of the farms to more of its sites.

“The lettuce is being grown 80 feet away – it’s as fresh as fresh gets. Usually, what’s put on the shelf was harvested that morning or the day before, and so it has the entire nutritional value and a longer shelf life,” Chris Michlewicz, chief public relations officer at FarmBox, told Progressive Grocer. He cited other benefits, such as a reduction in food waste and less of a reliance on outside supply chains at a time of shortages and bottlenecks.

Read more at progressivegrocer.com


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