Plenty has announced it has secured up to 120 acres of land near Richmond, Virginia, to build an indoor vertical farm campus.
The centrally located Plenty Richmond Farm Campus marks the company’s expansion beyond the US west coast, and will bring fresh produce to the east coast. Plenty plans to deploy several vertical farms on the campus in the coming years, with hopes for an annual production capacity exceeding 20 million pounds across multiple crops, including strawberries, leafy greens and tomatoes.
The first campus farm will grow Driscoll’s strawberries, with plans to grow more than 4 million pounds of strawberries annually, helping to meet demand for berries in the northeast.
The deal follows an agreement with Walmart, announced earlier this year, to bring Plenty’s leafy greens from its Compton farm to all of the retailer’s stores in California.
Plans to expand the campus over time include additional farms growing different produce, such as pesticide-free leafy greens. Through the use of advanced technology, Plenty claims that it can produce yields of up to 350x more per acre compared with conventional farms.
“Plenty’s decision to establish its first major east coast vertical farming campus in Virginia shines a spotlight on the advantages that make the Commonwealth the best location in the nation for companies growing our food safely and sustainably indoors,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.
“This transformational project further bolsters Virginia’s agriculture and technology industries and positions the Commonwealth as a leader in this next generation of agriculture. I am pleased to welcome Plenty to Virginia and look forward to the company’s growth and success in Chesterfield County.”
Over the next six years, $300 million will be invested into the new campus, which Plenty says will bring additional employment opportunities to Virginia. The first crop of Driscoll’s strawberries grown by Plenty will be available in winter 2023-2024 at retailers throughout the US northeast.
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