BrightFarms opens fifth indoor leafy green facility in North Carolina

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Photo Credit: BrightFarms
Photo Credit: BrightFarms

Related tags BrightFarms indoor farming Leafy greens

BrightFarms has opened its latest indoor farm in Hendersonville, North Carolina, capable of producing 2 million pounds of lettuce per year in the Southeast US region which currently has limited options for indoor-grown leafy greens on store shelves, says the company.

Centrally located in the Southeast region, BrightFarms' new 6-acre greenhouse can reach retailers in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia with its freshly-harvested greens within 24 hours. This 24-hour freshness window guarantees consumers a fresher product, and longer shelf-life, than much of the lettuce currently stocked in the produce sections which typically travels thousands of miles from California and Arizona. 

“With 10 years of innovation and growing under our belts, we are ready and able to bring our proven indoor growing model and fresh greens to millions of new consumers in the Carolinas and beyond,”​ said Steve Platt, CEO of BrightFarms.

“We are committed to being the leading supplier of local salads in the Southeast and look forward to partnering with retailers to make fresh, clean and safe produce a reality.”

WATCH: FoodNavigator-USA sits down with BrightFarms founder Paul Lightfoot, and CEO Steve Platt

BrightFarms_Greenhouse_2
BrightFarms' 6-acre indoor North Carolina greenhouse

BrightFarms currently operates greenhouses in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Virginia, with plans to open another facility in New England later this year.

"We see ourselves providing leafy greens up and down the East Coast, from Maine to Georgia. ​​We think the farms are going to get bigger, because the demand in each region will get larger," ​Platt previously told FoodNavigator-USA​. 

BrightFarms is on track to double in size and production, and surpass availability in over 3,500 retail stores in the US by 2021 — the most of any indoor farming player, the company claims.

By comparison, competitor Gotham Greens  — which has also grown significantly in the past year​ —  is currently available in 2,000 retail stores across 40 US states. 

The controlled environment agriculture (CEA) industry has attracted over $1bn in capital in the past six months, said BrightFarms, which in October 2020, BrightFarms raised over $100m ​in debt and equity capital, led by Cox Enterprises, and says the opening of its North Carolina greenhouse is just one of the first major steps in BrightFarms upcoming, robust expansion plans.

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