On January 24, bankruptcy was declared on Future Crops Cooperative U.A. The Israeli-Dutch vertical farming company is located at the ABC Westland industrial park in Poeldijk.
It can be noted that the vertical farming sector is struggling. Several vertical farming companies have announced in the past year that they were either scaling down production or filing bankruptcy. In Q4 of 2022, Future Crops also scaled back a large part of production due to high energy costs.
Whether energy is the ultimate cause behind the bankruptcy is not clear. Both the trustee and Future Crops were asked for comments.
85 tons of lettuce and herbs per year
Accounting for 2,500 square meters in nine layers, herbs and lettuce, including basil, cilantro, parsley, baby lettuce, and dill, have been cultivated ever since 2018, coming to 85 tons annually. Remarkably, the growers do it soil-bound instead.
There is space in Poeldijk to grow up to 8,000 square meters. Future Crops also has its own test laboratory.
Products from multilayer cultivation can be found at supermarket chain Albert Heijn, among others. Albert Heijn sells four varieties of herbs from Future Crops under white labels.
Future Crops was founded in 2016 in partnership with the Israeli Agricultural Research Organization (ARO) and A&F Ventures, an investment firm run by the Lerman family, a major player in the U.S. steel industry. The company received $30 million in the first round of investment. A second round of investment was announced in early 2022, led by Tencent.
In addition to growth ambitions with its own vertical farm, Future Crops also made work of what was announced last year as Agro as a Service. "We have the system, knowledge, and know-how to deliver excellence on a large scale. We are currently raising funds to roll out more farms internationally and have signed a number of MOUs." Future Crops was looking at building a new vertical farm outside the Netherlands.
The bankruptcy has been registered under reference: 09.dha.23.23.F.1300.1.23. Mr. J.J. Wittekamp from the Hague, the Netherlands, was appointed as trustee. Recently, a reaction was requested from the trustee and Future Crops themselves. However, we didn't receive these before the time of publication.
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