Mar 15, 2022Driscoll’s, Plenty to build commercial strawberry indoor vertical farm
One year after announcing their joint research and development work to grow strawberries indoors, Driscoll’s, a consumer brand in fresh premium berries, and Plenty Unlimited Inc. are expanding their relationship to build a new indoor vertical farm dedicated exclusively to strawberries.
After exceeding the goals set forward for the initial stages of the partnership, the two companies are accelerating efforts to grow Driscoll’s proprietary, best-in-class flavorful berries using Plenty’s unique vertical growing platform. This new farm, to serve consumers in the Northeastern United States, will provide fresh, consistent, high-flavor strawberries closer to berry-loving consumers who live in highly dense urban regions. This strategy will provide the fastest category growth to a mature market that has demonstrated appreciation for a high-flavor product offering.
“The Northeast is the largest berry consumption region in the U.S., with a dense population of berry-loving consumers,”Arama Kukutai, CEO at Plenty, said in a news release. “Our partnership with Driscoll’s, coupled with Plenty’s optimized technology platform, ensures we can consistently grow premium berries closer to where these consumers live, providing fresh, consistent quality. We’ve successfully leveraged the expertise of the world’s largest strawberry breeding program within Plenty’s own controlled growing environment, maximizing the flavor of each berry and optimizing for both texture and size. We’re excited to bring our first indoor vertical farm dedicated to strawberries to life with the undisputed leader in the space.”
Driscoll’s 100 years of farming heritage and focus on delivering Only the Finest Berries has proven an ideal partner for Plenty’s industry-leading, sustainable, indoor farming technology. Together, the two companies are able to grow consistent, high-quality berries closer to where the consumer lives.
“Over the last year Plenty has demonstrated its technological leadership in indoor vertical farming by growing our proprietary strawberries to meet the rigorous flavor and quality required of a Driscoll’s berry,” said J. Miles Reiter, Driscoll’s chairman and CEO. “We are excited to see the initial success of our collaboration and look forward to expanding our relationship with a new farm that will drive category growth to the Northeastern part of the U.S.”
Plenty utilizes Driscoll’s proprietary genetics and berry expertise alongside its own advanced, indoor farming technology and plant science expertise to grow Driscoll’s beloved berries. Leveraging the massive amounts of growing data generated by its platform, Plenty uses proprietary data analytics, machine learning and customized lighting to consistently deliver yields 150-350 times greater per acre than the field.
As part of the partnership, Driscoll’s strawberries were initially grown in Plenty’s Laramie, Wyoming farm, the largest indoor plant science research facility of its kind.
Driscoll’s is a global market leader of fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. With more than 100 years of farming heritage, Driscoll’s is a pioneer of berry flavor innovation and the trusted consumer brand of Only the Finest Berries.
With more than 900 independent growers around the world, Driscoll’s develops exclusive patented berry varieties using only natural breeding methods that focus on growing great tasting berries. A dedicated team of agronomists, breeders, sensory analysts, plant pathologists and entomologists help grow baby seedlings that are then grown on local family farms. Driscoll’s now serves consumers year-round across North America, Australia, Europe and China in over 22 countries.
Plenty is rewriting the rules of agriculture through its technology platform that can grow clean produce anywhere in the world, year round, with unprecedented yield and peak season quality. Plenty’s proprietary approach preserves the world’s natural resources, makes nutritious produce available to all communities and creates resilience in our food systems against weather, location, pests and climate.
Plenty’s headquarters are in South San Francisco, and the company operates the largest of its kind indoor plant science research facility in Laramie, Wyoming. Plenty is currently building the world’s highest-output, vertical, indoor farm in Compton, California.
Driscoll’s and Plenty Unlimited Inc. are expanding their relationship to build a new indoor vertical farm dedicated exclusively to strawberries. Photos: Driscoll’s