North Carolina-based Vindara uses plant genomics, machine learning, and computational biology along with traditional breeding methods to develop nutritious and high-yielding plant seed varieties that can be grown in a fraction of the time and thrive in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) growing conditions.
Vindara claims that its breeding process shortens plant development from five to seven years down to 12 to 18 months, increasing produce output and optimizing yield and profitability for Kalera.
The acquisition of Vindara will allow the company to accelerate its ambitious growth ambitions and launch better-positioned products optimized for color, texture, flavor, firmness, and nutrient profile.
'Kalera has always focused on being the most technologically advanced player in the vertical farming industry'
The company currently operates two growing facilities in Orlando, Florida, and is building facilities in Atlanta, Georgia, Houston, Texas, and Denver, Colorado, which are slated to open in 2021 along with additional facilities underway in greater Seattle, Washington area, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Columbus, Ohio.
"With our current expansion, I can boldly say Kalera is the largest and has more heads of production [in vertical farming] of anybody else in North America," Kalera CEO, Daniel Malechuk, previously told FoodNavigator-USA, adding that the company has plans for international expansion.
Once all the company's farms are operational, the total projected yield is several tens of millions of heads of lettuce per year.
"Kalera has always focused on being the most technologically advanced player in the vertical farming industry. With the addition of Vindara’s data-driven methodology, we will be the first vertical farming company with the ability to develop its own plant varieties bred specifically for indoor farming conditions," said Malechuk.
“While advances in technology such as lighting, robotics, sensors, and planting substrates are all improving grower economics, seeds developed specifically for indoor farming have been a ‘missing link’ to vertical farming achieving its full potential... we are ushering in a new era of agricultural advancements that will increase production yields and produce unique crop varieties customized for the needs of our discerning customers around the globe.”