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US: Bringing high volume, low margin greens to the New York metropolitan area

“We’ve developed a solution that is autonomous and ties into existing technologies as well, rather than recreating upstream and downstream equipment. We will produce over 600,000 lbs per year from our autonomous grow system, which is less than 5000 sq. ft.,” says Amin Jadavji, co-founder and CEO at Elevate Farms.

Amin Jadavji

In March 2023, Elevate Farms announced that it had begun operations on its first wholly owned US farm in Orange, New Jersey. The facility spans 14.000 square feet, with the production area accounting for 5.000 square feet of this grand total.

While the area is small, it is very compact, with a high planting density per square foot. The farm is completely autonomous, with trays fed into and out of the production area by a conveyor system. The only manual tasks in the facility are daily inspections and tray clean-out between cycles. Everything else is automated, with high use of sensors and data.

Lauren Plotnik at the production facility in the City of Orange, New Jersey

Macro scale
On a macro scale, Elevate Farms operates a partner model with partner farms in Canada and New Zealand. The company is expanding into Australia as well as parts of the EU, including Switzerland. At its Orange facility, Elevate Farms is focusing on the food service industry rather than high-value branded retail or niche markets. Through food service, Elevate Farms is confident that it can provide its product to a higher volume of people.

“Building in Orange, New Jersey, is aligned with our goals to produce at high volumes and low margins. Our goal is to feed people, not provide greens at five times the market price,” says Amin. “Aside from California, the New York metropolitan area is the largest population in the United States.”

Although Elevate Farms has grown hundreds of products, the company is currently focusing on the production of fewer products but in higher volume, such as its salad blend. The farm does add-ons based on client requests.

“We want to be a part of the solution of making food more sustainable. We are going after high volume and just a few items. There’s an opportunity for everyone, and this is the sandbox we’re trying to play in,” says Amin.

As part of its sustainability mission, Elevate Farms has implemented new water filtration and recirculation technology to improve food safety while improving its water and nutrient use efficiency. The system filters used water three times, removing undesirables but keeping leftover fertilizer.

For more information:
Amin Jadavji, Co-Founder and CEO
Elevate Farms