Connected through John Hartnett, founder of SVG Ventures & THRIVE, Driscoll's and Plenty said they will work to bring strawberries to the market while leveraging the benefits of a controlled growing environment.
Plenty will incorporate Driscoll's proprietary plant genetics and berry expertise into its indoor farming ecosystem which uses proprietary custom spectrum LED lights allowing the company to select specific light spectrum and intensity.
The custom light spectrum allows the company to "coax out the best natural flavors of the plants, making them surprisingly flavorful," Camille Kolstad, director of business development and sales at Plenty, previously told FoodNavigator-USA.
“As one of the few berry companies with a dedicated global R&D program, we believe our proprietary berries, which are focused on flavor, combined with Plenty’s technology leadership will create a competitive market edge as we expand to more effectively meet the future consumer,” commented J. Miles Reiter, Driscoll’s chairman and CEO.
Currently growing a variety of leafy greens, Plenty's San Francisco-based indoor vertical farm is run using 100% renewable energy (a combination of wind and solar energy) delivering produce year-round, growing 1 million plants at a time with the ability to process 200 plants per minute using automated processes, data analytics, and machine learning.
The advanced agri-food platform has allowed Plenty to achieve over 700% yield improvement in leafy greens in the last 24 months, while maintaining flavor and quality.
Driscoll’s strawberries will initially be grown and developed in Plenty’s Laramie, Wyoming farm. The joint venture agreement will also expand fresh berry access to regions of the country that have historically difficult to serve.
"Our goal is to bring fresh, flavor-forward berries grown locally to consumers around the world," said Nate Storey, co-founder and chief science officer of Plenty.