Vertical Farming is Changing the Agriculture Industry

March 19, 2018

The largest agriculture investment in history just went to the vertical farming industry, a trend that does not seem to be slowing down. Compass is excited to be partnering with companies, such as AeroFarms, who are at the forefront of this space. AeroFarms is the world leader in indoor vertical farming and is transforming agriculture. The company grows delicious, nutritious leafy greens and herbs without sunlight, soil or pesticides, in an indoor vertical garden in Newark, New Jersey. Fresh harvests are not typically associated with skyscrapers and city buses, but AeroFarms hopes to change that with their mission to build responsible farms in major cities all over the world. Vertically integrated growing environments allow this Compass distributor to generate greens locally all-year in the population-dense communities they serve.

“If we really want to make the biggest change in the food eco-system, we have to work with the biggest players,” says Marc Oshima, AeroFarms Co-Founder. “We have a shared vision and values with Compass when it comes to a commitment to the environment, nutrition and food waste.

Restaurant Associates (RA) chose to partner with AeroFarms for their sustainable growing practices and high-quality, flavorful product. AeroFarms is working towards enabling world-wide local production by building and operating environmentally responsible farms using the simple values of local production, ECO impact and variety.

“I had the opportunity to tour one of their growing facilities and it’s incredible to see how they are leveraging technology to create more sustainably grown food, all while utilizing previously unused factory space,” says RA Wellness Manager, Tori Martinet. RA’s accounts combine the AeroFarms greens with superfoods to create Signature Salads that are better for both their guests and the environment. “They are able to transform communities and have an impact on our food system all while maintaining a quality product and nutrient integrity.”

AeroFarms not only distributes to Restaurant Associates in New York City, but also works closely with FLIK Independent Schools to increase the scale of their product and benefits of urban farming. Oshima spoke at the FLIK executive team meeting earlier this year about AeroFarms’ technology and its unconventional indoor garden that is changing the way that food is grown. The 50 attendees learned about the process and are bringing this information back to their FLIK managers and chefs to educate them on this unique aeroponic growing system.

At Philips Academy Charter School in Newark, AeroFarms installed a grow lab where students learn how their food is grown and gain a more tangible connection to the importance of fresh, healthy food.

I see this as the next generation of indoor gardens for our private and independent school partners,” says FLIK Independent School’s Vice President of Support Services Joann Khoder. “We currently have some chefs growing micro greens indoors, but this takes it to a whole new level!”

The FLIK team sees AeroFarms as a promising partnership and is very excited about the possibility of future installations.

Local Production
Ultimate Freshness grown by the community, for the community.
ECO Impact
The indoor “Farms” use led lights and mist in a controlled environment, using 95 percent less water than traditional field farms, with yields 1030 times higher per square foot.
The plant scientists monitor, control and perfect the greens to enhance flavor profiles, color, textures and nutrition of the herbs and greens.

Click here to read the full 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.