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Farm Fresh Produce ramps up bell peppers program, cabbage

Farm Fresh Produce ramps up bell peppers program, cabbage

Farm Fresh has 50 acres of peppers. Most of Farm Fresh’s produce is shipped to the East Coast, noted Ceccarelli, because their location in North Carolina gives them cheap freight costs when shipping to markets in the region. Ceccarelli noted that the season hasn’t been the best, but they’re busy providing for their customers.
 
“Peppers have been pretty good so far,” said Ceccarelli. “The market hasn’t been ideal, but we’re keeping our product fresh and our customers happy.”

Farm Fresh Produce is also in the thick of their cabbage program this year. Like with their peppers, Farm Fresh’s cabbage program is focused on East coast markets, which they can reach in about two days from their facilities in North Carolina.

“We’re going to do a lot of cabbage this year,” said Farm Fresh’s Steve Ceccarelli. They began harvesting Napa cabbage at the beginning of last month, and harvesting of regular green cabbage and Flathead cabbage began shortly after. The Napa variety is what Farm Fresh produces the most, with 70 acres dedicated to that kind of cabbage, while 30 acres are dedicated to the Flathead variety.

“We have an advantage from a freight standpoint,” said Ceccarelli. “It’s cheaper for us to ship to the East Coast and the Eastern part of Canada than it is for competitors who aren’t in this region.” Another big program for Farm Fresh is their line of sweet potatoes, which they also predominantly sell on the East Coast. Currently, Farm Fresh has grey, yellow and green sweet potatoes available.

For more information:
Steven A. Ceccarelli
Farm Fresh Produce
Tel: +1 910-508-8933
[email protected]
www.farm-fresh-produce.com

Publication date: 6/28/2013


FreshPlaza.com

WP Rawl donates 500 cases of fresh produce to Harvest Hope

This Christmas, WP Rawl made the holidays a little merrier for families serviced by Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia, SC, through a donation of fresh produce to the local food bank.

Fresh produce is oftentimes hard to come by or absent in food banks across the country, in particular during the holidays. WP Rawl donated 500 mixed gift boxes of fresh produce to Harvest Hope, which included apples, oranges, regular and sweet potatoes, celery and onion mix, collards, butternut squash, cabbage, squash and zucchini.DSC 0912Over the holidays WP Rawl helped families in need with a donation of 500 mixed gift boxes of fresh produce.

“This donation of packed fruits and vegetables for our clients during the Christmas season is such a thoughtful and generous gift; these boxes will be used throughout our Emergency Food Pantries and Mobile Food Pantries,” Denise Holland, Harvest Hope Food Bank chief executive officer, said in a press release. “Having fresh fruit and vegetables is very important to our clients at this time of year and some have little to no access to it otherwise. I am so thankful for the support from WP Rawl for their help in providing delicious, fresh produce to struggling families in our community.”

The donation is one of several ways that WP Rawl assists Harvest Hope throughout the year. This summer, the local leafy greens grower and shipper hosted the Katie’s Krops Camp at their headquarters in Pelion, SC, which included a service project at the food bank. For the project, the campers built a raised bed-vegetable garden with 12 beds and various types of vegetables per bed, which is meant to serve as a sustainable source of fresh produce for Harvest Hope. WP Rawl hopes that this holiday donation will supplement the vegetables they are already growing on site. The donation was made in honor of all of WP Rawl’s customers and employees as a thank you for their support.

“As a family and as a company, it is important to us to share with our global and local communities,” Ashley Rawl, vice president of sales, marketing and product development at WP Rawl, said in the press release. “It is so satisfying to see that the Harvest Hope staff and volunteers have enjoyed maintaining the raised beds that the Katie’s Krops campers built this summer and we are happy to continue to help them in various ways throughout the year.”

WP Rawl’s year-long mission to end hunger leads them to give back to other organizations such as RAMP, the Rockin’ Appalachian Mom Project and Katie’s Krops.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

WP Rawl donates 500 cases of fresh produce to Harvest Hope

This Christmas, WP Rawl made the holidays a little merrier for families serviced by Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia, SC, through a donation of fresh produce to the local food bank.

Fresh produce is oftentimes hard to come by or absent in food banks across the country, in particular during the holidays. WP Rawl donated 500 mixed gift boxes of fresh produce to Harvest Hope, which included apples, oranges, regular and sweet potatoes, celery and onion mix, collards, butternut squash, cabbage, squash and zucchini.DSC 0912Over the holidays WP Rawl helped families in need with a donation of 500 mixed gift boxes of fresh produce.

“This donation of packed fruits and vegetables for our clients during the Christmas season is such a thoughtful and generous gift; these boxes will be used throughout our Emergency Food Pantries and Mobile Food Pantries,” Denise Holland, Harvest Hope Food Bank chief executive officer, said in a press release. “Having fresh fruit and vegetables is very important to our clients at this time of year and some have little to no access to it otherwise. I am so thankful for the support from WP Rawl for their help in providing delicious, fresh produce to struggling families in our community.”

The donation is one of several ways that WP Rawl assists Harvest Hope throughout the year. This summer, the local leafy greens grower and shipper hosted the Katie’s Krops Camp at their headquarters in Pelion, SC, which included a service project at the food bank. For the project, the campers built a raised bed-vegetable garden with 12 beds and various types of vegetables per bed, which is meant to serve as a sustainable source of fresh produce for Harvest Hope. WP Rawl hopes that this holiday donation will supplement the vegetables they are already growing on site. The donation was made in honor of all of WP Rawl’s customers and employees as a thank you for their support.

“As a family and as a company, it is important to us to share with our global and local communities,” Ashley Rawl, vice president of sales, marketing and product development at WP Rawl, said in the press release. “It is so satisfying to see that the Harvest Hope staff and volunteers have enjoyed maintaining the raised beds that the Katie’s Krops campers built this summer and we are happy to continue to help them in various ways throughout the year.”

WP Rawl’s year-long mission to end hunger leads them to give back to other organizations such as RAMP, the Rockin’ Appalachian Mom Project and Katie’s Krops.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Fresh Valley Foods and A.J. Letizio Sales announce partnership

Fresh Valley Foods Corp., based in Haverhill, MA, announced it has entered into a retail brokerage partnership with A.J. Letizio Sales & Marketing Inc., based in Windham, NH. Under this new agreement, A.J. Letizio will become Fresh Valley Food’s exclusive retail broker in New England and New York for the processor’s full line of fresh-cut fruit and vegetables.

“We’re all very excited about this new partnership,” Bob Tessitore, senior vice president for A.J. Letizio, said in a press release. “Fresh Valley’s full line of fresh-cut produce is the perfect complement to our current line of fresh foods.”

“With our superior level of quality and customer service, and A.J. Letizio’s outstanding reputation and ability to represent us in the marketplace, we will bring extra savings to our retailers and greater value to our retail customers,” Fresh Valley Foods General Manager C.J. Gangi added in the press release.

Founded in 2010, Fresh Valley Foods Corp. offers a full line of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables for retail and foodservice accounts under the “Freshen Ready,” “All Natural,” “Fresh 21″ and “Fresh Valley” labels.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

School lunch compromise good news to fresh fruit, vegetable suppliers

WASHINGTON — Fruit and vegetable companies will continue to sell to schools that must meet improved nutrition standards thanks to a deal cut in the FY 2015 omnibus spending bill signed Dec. 16 by President Obama.

The appropriations bill that funds U.S. Department of Agriculture programs hit a roadblock when an amendment passed that would have allowed schools struggling to meet the strict standards to be granted a waiver. 

“Although well-intended, some of USDA’s rules went too far, too fast, and ended up driving students away from healthy school meals while unnecessarily driving up costs for schools,” said School Nutrition Association CEO Patricia Montague, who backed the waiver.

A coalition of groups, including the United Fresh Produce Association, urged Congress not to allow schools to opt out of all the new provisions, and this month lawmakers agreed to a compromise that allowed schools flexibility in meeting the whole grain and sodium standards.

“Congress agreed that rolling back the very modest requirement that kids get one-half cup of fruits and vegetables in their lunch would not be good policy and would have been detrimental to achieving our shared public health goal, which is to help children learn to make half-their-plate fruits and vegetables,” said Tom Stenzel, president and chief executive officer of United Fresh. “The modest half-a-cup requirement is one step toward a lifetime of better health for today’s kids, and lower long-term healthcare costs for our country.”

The agreement also sets the stage for next year’s reauthorization of child nutrition programs, which expire in 2015.

“Schools need help in modernizing and streamlining procurement processes, updating refrigeration and cafeteria equipment, and financial resources to support healthy meals,” Stenzel said. “The solution contained in the omnibus passed today resolves a past debate, and sets all of us on a positive course where we can work together to serve our nation’s children.”

On a related note, a draft report from the committee developing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reported this week the U.S. population has made few dietary changes from 2001-2010, with fruit intake low but stable and vegetable intake declining.

The committee, which recommends changes to the guidelines every five years, is set to recommend U.S. consumers follow a diet high in vegetable, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, seafood, legumes and nuts, and low in red and processed meat, added sugars and refined grains.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

“When you sell fresh, you sell more”

“When you sell fresh, you sell more”

Dorot Farm, an Israeli company founded in 1941, is currently the largest exporter of fresh and sweet carrots to the U.S. and Canada. “We export around the world, to Russia, Europe and North America, and we have offices in Melville, Long Island, and in Israel,” says Ami Ben-Dror, CEO of B.D.A, Dorot Farm’s Representative for Europe and North America.

The company deals mainly with fresh and sweet carrots, with a focus on offering the best quality and special varieties. Ami explains that “we started in the North American market a few years ago. We ship Cello carrots directly to supermarkets in 1, 2, 3 and 5 pound formats, and Jumbo carrots to the food service, which are very sweet and produce less waste when peeled,” explains Ami. “People appreciate their freshness, sweetness, colour and taste.”

The Jumbo carrots actually became a success story in North America, with very large volumes shipped every season (lasting from February to August). “We received very good feedback on the quality; we started almost 8 years ago and all USDA regulations are met,” states Ami. The bottom line is that “with farms all around the world, you need to find where your growers can have the advantage.”

In this sense, Ami stresses the importance of branding, investments, structure and the capacity to agree in the formation of joint ventures.

The firm also exports a lot to Europe; a destination which, according to Ami, has great potential, since it is a market where large volumes of carrots are still kept in storage for months. “The next step is for big growers to go on joint ventures to grow in the Israeli season, because when you sell fresh, you sell more.”

Focusing on fresh could in fact be the key to extend Dorot Farm’s window in the European market, which currently spans for three months. “The feedback from supermarkets and the food service confirms the difference in quality, and as a leading exporter, we need to focus on innovation, and this is the way to go.”

Ami assures that North America still has plenty of potential to continue growing, and perceives market diversification as an essential move for any horticultural company, as “in the end, despite the different preferences of European and North American consumers, they all want the same: to eat fresh and to be provided with convenience.”

For more info:
Ami Ben Dror
Dorot Farms
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 12/23/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Fresh Thyme sets St. Louis debut

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has set a Jan. 14 opening date for its Fairview Heights, Ill., store — the retailer’s first in the St. Louis metro market.

The store will the be the first of more than 10 new openings set by Fresh Thyme in 2015, the company said. The Chicago-based natural foods retailer opened its first store in April and today operates 10 stores in the Midwest. Officials said they planned as many as 60 new stores in five years.


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“As a new member of the Fairview Heights community, we want to introduce ourselves, have some fun and provide an enjoyable atmosphere where people can experience who we are and what we offer,” Chris Sherrell, CEO of Fresh Thyme, said in a statement. “Our mission is to improve the way our communities eat by combining the spirit of a weekend farmers market and the convenience of a neighborhood store, with the nutritious offerings of a natural food marketplace.”

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Supermarket News

Fresh Thyme sets St. Louis debut

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has set a Jan. 14 opening date for its Fairview Heights, Ill., store — the retailer’s first in the St. Louis metro market.

The store will the be the first of more than 10 new openings set by Fresh Thyme in 2015, the company said. The Chicago-based natural foods retailer opened its first store in April and today operates 10 stores in the Midwest. Officials said they planned as many as 60 new stores in five years.


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Like the Supermarket News page for updates throughout the day.


“As a new member of the Fairview Heights community, we want to introduce ourselves, have some fun and provide an enjoyable atmosphere where people can experience who we are and what we offer,” Chris Sherrell, CEO of Fresh Thyme, said in a statement. “Our mission is to improve the way our communities eat by combining the spirit of a weekend farmers market and the convenience of a neighborhood store, with the nutritious offerings of a natural food marketplace.”

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Rooftop greenhouse delivers fresh and low transport costs

Solution for open land in big cities
Rooftop greenhouse delivers fresh and low transport costs

The scarcity of open land in large cities would seem to be an insurmountable obstacle to building a profitable agricultural business in New York City, but Gotham Greens has managed to do just that. With a couple of hydroponic growing operations in the city, they provide high-quality, local greens to the residents of New York and the surrounding area.

“There is not a lot of space available in large cities, and any land that is available is probably more valuable to a real estate developer than to a grower,” explained Viraj Puri of Gotham Greens. Aside from the difficulty of securing land on which to grow fresh produce, the quality of soil in most cities is usually unfit for agricultural purposes. Gotham Greens’ founders looked into growing on rooftops, which are plentiful in New York, but replenishing soil or soil substrate on top of buildings is cost-prohibitive and could structurally compromise some buildings. So Gotham Greens went with a rooftop hydroponic growing system that delivers nutrients to plants via recycled water.

“We employ a nutrient film technique that runs a stream of water just beneath the plant roots,” said Viraj Puri. “The water is recycled, so we use about a tenth of the water that conventional growers use and we can reach yields that are 20 times more than those from conventional crops.” Gotham Greens’ total climate system measures temperature, humidity, light levels and an array of other factors in order to create the perfect growing climate for their greens. The automated greenhouse then adjusts shades, vents and heaters to facilitate optimal plant growth 365 days out of the year. While heating a greenhouse during the cold New York winter uses more energy than a greenhouse in Mexico would ever need, Viraj Puri argues that their energy efficient system and the benefits of local produce outweigh the higher heating costs.

“We don’t have to transport our produce over long distances, so we save on transportation and we use fewer fossil fuels,” said Viraj Puri. “A lot of the design features of our facility and the renewable energy resources we have means we need about half the heating that other greenhouses in New York need.” Because they can pick their greens in the morning and have them in a supermarket later that afternoon also means their products is fresh, relative to greens shipped from Mexico. In fact, their second facility is located on the roof of Whole Foods Market’s flagship Brooklyn location, meaning that the product is only an elevator ride away from farm to shelf. Gotham Greens currently sells all of their produce within a 20 miles radius of their greenhouses where the entire growing process is sterile and insects are used as pest control, so there are no pesticide residues or contaminants to worry about. A longer shelf life and just a higher class of product attracts consumers and ensures repeat sales and premium prices.

“Our focus is on packaged salads and leafy greens that we can sell as a high-quality product and be competitive in retail stores,” said Viraj Puri. “It seems like there are more and more start-ups that are interested in vertical farms and completely indoor growing, so we want to focus on the product. You can only get attention so long for growing in the city, but the product has to stand on its own two feet. We don’t want to focus on trying to re-invent something or come up with a new business model; our goal is to focus on putting out a high-quality product.” Gotham Greens currently has two greenhouses in the New York area that provide their branded greens to retailers like Whole Foods Market, D’Agostino, Fresh Direct and Pea Pod as well as smaller neighborhood grocers. They plan on opening two more greenhouses in 2015, a 60,000 sq ft rooftop farm in Queens and a 75,000 sq ft  facility in Chicago, which is slated to be the world’s largest rooftop farm.

For more information:
Viraj Puri
Gotham Greens
Tel: +1 (646) 458-1747
[email protected]
www.gothamgreens.com

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Rooftop greenhouse delivers fresh and low transport costs

Solution for open land in big cities
Rooftop greenhouse delivers fresh and low transport costs

The scarcity of open land in large cities would seem to be an insurmountable obstacle to building a profitable agricultural business in New York City, but Gotham Greens has managed to do just that. With a couple of hydroponic growing operations in the city, they provide high-quality, local greens to the residents of New York and the surrounding area.

“There is not a lot of space available in large cities, and any land that is available is probably more valuable to a real estate developer than to a grower,” explained Viraj Puri of Gotham Greens. Aside from the difficulty of securing land on which to grow fresh produce, the quality of soil in most cities is usually unfit for agricultural purposes. Gotham Greens’ founders looked into growing on rooftops, which are plentiful in New York, but replenishing soil or soil substrate on top of buildings is cost-prohibitive and could structurally compromise some buildings. So Gotham Greens went with a rooftop hydroponic growing system that delivers nutrients to plants via recycled water.

“We employ a nutrient film technique that runs a stream of water just beneath the plant roots,” said Viraj Puri. “The water is recycled, so we use about a tenth of the water that conventional growers use and we can reach yields that are 20 times more than those from conventional crops.” Gotham Greens’ total climate system measures temperature, humidity, light levels and an array of other factors in order to create the perfect growing climate for their greens. The automated greenhouse then adjusts shades, vents and heaters to facilitate optimal plant growth 365 days out of the year. While heating a greenhouse during the cold New York winter uses more energy than a greenhouse in Mexico would ever need, Viraj Puri argues that their energy efficient system and the benefits of local produce outweigh the higher heating costs.

“We don’t have to transport our produce over long distances, so we save on transportation and we use fewer fossil fuels,” said Viraj Puri. “A lot of the design features of our facility and the renewable energy resources we have means we need about half the heating that other greenhouses in New York need.” Because they can pick their greens in the morning and have them in a supermarket later that afternoon also means their products is fresh, relative to greens shipped from Mexico. In fact, their second facility is located on the roof of Whole Foods Market’s flagship Brooklyn location, meaning that the product is only an elevator ride away from farm to shelf. Gotham Greens currently sells all of their produce within a 20 miles radius of their greenhouses where the entire growing process is sterile and insects are used as pest control, so there are no pesticide residues or contaminants to worry about. A longer shelf life and just a higher class of product attracts consumers and ensures repeat sales and premium prices.

“Our focus is on packaged salads and leafy greens that we can sell as a high-quality product and be competitive in retail stores,” said Viraj Puri. “It seems like there are more and more start-ups that are interested in vertical farms and completely indoor growing, so we want to focus on the product. You can only get attention so long for growing in the city, but the product has to stand on its own two feet. We don’t want to focus on trying to re-invent something or come up with a new business model; our goal is to focus on putting out a high-quality product.” Gotham Greens currently has two greenhouses in the New York area that provide their branded greens to retailers like Whole Foods Market, D’Agostino, Fresh Direct and Pea Pod as well as smaller neighborhood grocers. They plan on opening two more greenhouses in 2015, a 60,000 sq ft rooftop farm in Queens and a 75,000 sq ft  facility in Chicago, which is slated to be the world’s largest rooftop farm.

For more information:
Viraj Puri
Gotham Greens
Tel: +1 (646) 458-1747
[email protected]
www.gothamgreens.com

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Rooftop greenhouse delivers fresh and low transport costs

Solution for open land in big cities
Rooftop greenhouse delivers fresh and low transport costs

The scarcity of open land in large cities would seem to be an insurmountable obstacle to building a profitable agricultural business in New York City, but Gotham Greens has managed to do just that. With a couple of hydroponic growing operations in the city, they provide high-quality, local greens to the residents of New York and the surrounding area.

“There is not a lot of space available in large cities, and any land that is available is probably more valuable to a real estate developer than to a grower,” explained Viraj Puri of Gotham Greens. Aside from the difficulty of securing land on which to grow fresh produce, the quality of soil in most cities is usually unfit for agricultural purposes. Gotham Greens’ founders looked into growing on rooftops, which are plentiful in New York, but replenishing soil or soil substrate on top of buildings is cost-prohibitive and could structurally compromise some buildings. So Gotham Greens went with a rooftop hydroponic growing system that delivers nutrients to plants via recycled water.

“We employ a nutrient film technique that runs a stream of water just beneath the plant roots,” said Viraj Puri. “The water is recycled, so we use about a tenth of the water that conventional growers use and we can reach yields that are 20 times more than those from conventional crops.” Gotham Greens’ total climate system measures temperature, humidity, light levels and an array of other factors in order to create the perfect growing climate for their greens. The automated greenhouse then adjusts shades, vents and heaters to facilitate optimal plant growth 365 days out of the year. While heating a greenhouse during the cold New York winter uses more energy than a greenhouse in Mexico would ever need, Viraj Puri argues that their energy efficient system and the benefits of local produce outweigh the higher heating costs.

“We don’t have to transport our produce over long distances, so we save on transportation and we use fewer fossil fuels,” said Viraj Puri. “A lot of the design features of our facility and the renewable energy resources we have means we need about half the heating that other greenhouses in New York need.” Because they can pick their greens in the morning and have them in a supermarket later that afternoon also means their products is fresh, relative to greens shipped from Mexico. In fact, their second facility is located on the roof of Whole Foods Market’s flagship Brooklyn location, meaning that the product is only an elevator ride away from farm to shelf. Gotham Greens currently sells all of their produce within a 20 miles radius of their greenhouses where the entire growing process is sterile and insects are used as pest control, so there are no pesticide residues or contaminants to worry about. A longer shelf life and just a higher class of product attracts consumers and ensures repeat sales and premium prices.

“Our focus is on packaged salads and leafy greens that we can sell as a high-quality product and be competitive in retail stores,” said Viraj Puri. “It seems like there are more and more start-ups that are interested in vertical farms and completely indoor growing, so we want to focus on the product. You can only get attention so long for growing in the city, but the product has to stand on its own two feet. We don’t want to focus on trying to re-invent something or come up with a new business model; our goal is to focus on putting out a high-quality product.” Gotham Greens currently has two greenhouses in the New York area that provide their branded greens to retailers like Whole Foods Market, D’Agostino, Fresh Direct and Pea Pod as well as smaller neighborhood grocers. They plan on opening two more greenhouses in 2015, a 60,000 sq ft rooftop farm in Queens and a 75,000 sq ft  facility in Chicago, which is slated to be the world’s largest rooftop farm.

For more information:
Viraj Puri
Gotham Greens
Tel: +1 (646) 458-1747
[email protected]
www.gothamgreens.com

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Rooftop greenhouse delivers fresh and low transport costs

Solution for open land in big cities
Rooftop greenhouse delivers fresh and low transport costs

The scarcity of open land in large cities would seem to be an insurmountable obstacle to building a profitable agricultural business in New York City, but Gotham Greens has managed to do just that. With a couple of hydroponic growing operations in the city, they provide high-quality, local greens to the residents of New York and the surrounding area.

“There is not a lot of space available in large cities, and any land that is available is probably more valuable to a real estate developer than to a grower,” explained Viraj Puri of Gotham Greens. Aside from the difficulty of securing land on which to grow fresh produce, the quality of soil in most cities is usually unfit for agricultural purposes. Gotham Greens’ founders looked into growing on rooftops, which are plentiful in New York, but replenishing soil or soil substrate on top of buildings is cost-prohibitive and could structurally compromise some buildings. So Gotham Greens went with a rooftop hydroponic growing system that delivers nutrients to plants via recycled water.

“We employ a nutrient film technique that runs a stream of water just beneath the plant roots,” said Viraj Puri. “The water is recycled, so we use about a tenth of the water that conventional growers use and we can reach yields that are 20 times more than those from conventional crops.” Gotham Greens’ total climate system measures temperature, humidity, light levels and an array of other factors in order to create the perfect growing climate for their greens. The automated greenhouse then adjusts shades, vents and heaters to facilitate optimal plant growth 365 days out of the year. While heating a greenhouse during the cold New York winter uses more energy than a greenhouse in Mexico would ever need, Viraj Puri argues that their energy efficient system and the benefits of local produce outweigh the higher heating costs.

“We don’t have to transport our produce over long distances, so we save on transportation and we use fewer fossil fuels,” said Viraj Puri. “A lot of the design features of our facility and the renewable energy resources we have means we need about half the heating that other greenhouses in New York need.” Because they can pick their greens in the morning and have them in a supermarket later that afternoon also means their products is fresh, relative to greens shipped from Mexico. In fact, their second facility is located on the roof of Whole Foods Market’s flagship Brooklyn location, meaning that the product is only an elevator ride away from farm to shelf. Gotham Greens currently sells all of their produce within a 20 miles radius of their greenhouses where the entire growing process is sterile and insects are used as pest control, so there are no pesticide residues or contaminants to worry about. A longer shelf life and just a higher class of product attracts consumers and ensures repeat sales and premium prices.

“Our focus is on packaged salads and leafy greens that we can sell as a high-quality product and be competitive in retail stores,” said Viraj Puri. “It seems like there are more and more start-ups that are interested in vertical farms and completely indoor growing, so we want to focus on the product. You can only get attention so long for growing in the city, but the product has to stand on its own two feet. We don’t want to focus on trying to re-invent something or come up with a new business model; our goal is to focus on putting out a high-quality product.” Gotham Greens currently has two greenhouses in the New York area that provide their branded greens to retailers like Whole Foods Market, D’Agostino, Fresh Direct and Pea Pod as well as smaller neighborhood grocers. They plan on opening two more greenhouses in 2015, a 60,000 sq ft rooftop farm in Queens and a 75,000 sq ft  facility in Chicago, which is slated to be the world’s largest rooftop farm.

For more information:
Viraj Puri
Gotham Greens
Tel: +1 (646) 458-1747
[email protected]
www.gothamgreens.com

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Rooftop greenhouse delivers fresh and low transport costs

Solution for open land in big cities
Rooftop greenhouse delivers fresh and low transport costs

The scarcity of open land in large cities would seem to be an insurmountable obstacle to building a profitable agricultural business in New York City, but Gotham Greens has managed to do just that. With a couple of hydroponic growing operations in the city, they provide high-quality, local greens to the residents of New York and the surrounding area.

“There is not a lot of space available in large cities, and any land that is available is probably more valuable to a real estate developer than to a grower,” explained Viraj Puri of Gotham Greens. Aside from the difficulty of securing land on which to grow fresh produce, the quality of soil in most cities is usually unfit for agricultural purposes. Gotham Greens’ founders looked into growing on rooftops, which are plentiful in New York, but replenishing soil or soil substrate on top of buildings is cost-prohibitive and could structurally compromise some buildings. So Gotham Greens went with a rooftop hydroponic growing system that delivers nutrients to plants via recycled water.

“We employ a nutrient film technique that runs a stream of water just beneath the plant roots,” said Viraj Puri. “The water is recycled, so we use about a tenth of the water that conventional growers use and we can reach yields that are 20 times more than those from conventional crops.” Gotham Greens’ total climate system measures temperature, humidity, light levels and an array of other factors in order to create the perfect growing climate for their greens. The automated greenhouse then adjusts shades, vents and heaters to facilitate optimal plant growth 365 days out of the year. While heating a greenhouse during the cold New York winter uses more energy than a greenhouse in Mexico would ever need, Viraj Puri argues that their energy efficient system and the benefits of local produce outweigh the higher heating costs.

“We don’t have to transport our produce over long distances, so we save on transportation and we use fewer fossil fuels,” said Viraj Puri. “A lot of the design features of our facility and the renewable energy resources we have means we need about half the heating that other greenhouses in New York need.” Because they can pick their greens in the morning and have them in a supermarket later that afternoon also means their products is fresh, relative to greens shipped from Mexico. In fact, their second facility is located on the roof of Whole Foods Market’s flagship Brooklyn location, meaning that the product is only an elevator ride away from farm to shelf. Gotham Greens currently sells all of their produce within a 20 miles radius of their greenhouses where the entire growing process is sterile and insects are used as pest control, so there are no pesticide residues or contaminants to worry about. A longer shelf life and just a higher class of product attracts consumers and ensures repeat sales and premium prices.

“Our focus is on packaged salads and leafy greens that we can sell as a high-quality product and be competitive in retail stores,” said Viraj Puri. “It seems like there are more and more start-ups that are interested in vertical farms and completely indoor growing, so we want to focus on the product. You can only get attention so long for growing in the city, but the product has to stand on its own two feet. We don’t want to focus on trying to re-invent something or come up with a new business model; our goal is to focus on putting out a high-quality product.” Gotham Greens currently has two greenhouses in the New York area that provide their branded greens to retailers like Whole Foods Market, D’Agostino, Fresh Direct and Pea Pod as well as smaller neighborhood grocers. They plan on opening two more greenhouses in 2015, a 60,000 sq ft rooftop farm in Queens and a 75,000 sq ft  facility in Chicago, which is slated to be the world’s largest rooftop farm.

For more information:
Viraj Puri
Gotham Greens
Tel: +1 (646) 458-1747
[email protected]
www.gothamgreens.com

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Rooftop greenhouse delivers fresh and low transport costs

Solution for open land in big cities
Rooftop greenhouse delivers fresh and low transport costs

The scarcity of open land in large cities would seem to be an insurmountable obstacle to building a profitable agricultural business in New York City, but Gotham Greens has managed to do just that. With a couple of hydroponic growing operations in the city, they provide high-quality, local greens to the residents of New York and the surrounding area.

“There is not a lot of space available in large cities, and any land that is available is probably more valuable to a real estate developer than to a grower,” explained Viraj Puri of Gotham Greens. Aside from the difficulty of securing land on which to grow fresh produce, the quality of soil in most cities is usually unfit for agricultural purposes. Gotham Greens’ founders looked into growing on rooftops, which are plentiful in New York, but replenishing soil or soil substrate on top of buildings is cost-prohibitive and could structurally compromise some buildings. So Gotham Greens went with a rooftop hydroponic growing system that delivers nutrients to plants via recycled water.

“We employ a nutrient film technique that runs a stream of water just beneath the plant roots,” said Viraj Puri. “The water is recycled, so we use about a tenth of the water that conventional growers use and we can reach yields that are 20 times more than those from conventional crops.” Gotham Greens’ total climate system measures temperature, humidity, light levels and an array of other factors in order to create the perfect growing climate for their greens. The automated greenhouse then adjusts shades, vents and heaters to facilitate optimal plant growth 365 days out of the year. While heating a greenhouse during the cold New York winter uses more energy than a greenhouse in Mexico would ever need, Viraj Puri argues that their energy efficient system and the benefits of local produce outweigh the higher heating costs.

“We don’t have to transport our produce over long distances, so we save on transportation and we use fewer fossil fuels,” said Viraj Puri. “A lot of the design features of our facility and the renewable energy resources we have means we need about half the heating that other greenhouses in New York need.” Because they can pick their greens in the morning and have them in a supermarket later that afternoon also means their products is fresh, relative to greens shipped from Mexico. In fact, their second facility is located on the roof of Whole Foods Market’s flagship Brooklyn location, meaning that the product is only an elevator ride away from farm to shelf. Gotham Greens currently sells all of their produce within a 20 miles radius of their greenhouses where the entire growing process is sterile and insects are used as pest control, so there are no pesticide residues or contaminants to worry about. A longer shelf life and just a higher class of product attracts consumers and ensures repeat sales and premium prices.

“Our focus is on packaged salads and leafy greens that we can sell as a high-quality product and be competitive in retail stores,” said Viraj Puri. “It seems like there are more and more start-ups that are interested in vertical farms and completely indoor growing, so we want to focus on the product. You can only get attention so long for growing in the city, but the product has to stand on its own two feet. We don’t want to focus on trying to re-invent something or come up with a new business model; our goal is to focus on putting out a high-quality product.” Gotham Greens currently has two greenhouses in the New York area that provide their branded greens to retailers like Whole Foods Market, D’Agostino, Fresh Direct and Pea Pod as well as smaller neighborhood grocers. They plan on opening two more greenhouses in 2015, a 60,000 sq ft rooftop farm in Queens and a 75,000 sq ft  facility in Chicago, which is slated to be the world’s largest rooftop farm.

For more information:
Viraj Puri
Gotham Greens
Tel: +1 (646) 458-1747
[email protected]
www.gothamgreens.com

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Rooftop greenhouse delivers fresh and low transport costs

Solution for open land in big cities
Rooftop greenhouse delivers fresh and low transport costs

The scarcity of open land in large cities would seem to be an insurmountable obstacle to building a profitable agricultural business in New York City, but Gotham Greens has managed to do just that. With a couple of hydroponic growing operations in the city, they provide high-quality, local greens to the residents of New York and the surrounding area.

“There is not a lot of space available in large cities, and any land that is available is probably more valuable to a real estate developer than to a grower,” explained Viraj Puri of Gotham Greens. Aside from the difficulty of securing land on which to grow fresh produce, the quality of soil in most cities is usually unfit for agricultural purposes. Gotham Greens’ founders looked into growing on rooftops, which are plentiful in New York, but replenishing soil or soil substrate on top of buildings is cost-prohibitive and could structurally compromise some buildings. So Gotham Greens went with a rooftop hydroponic growing system that delivers nutrients to plants via recycled water.

“We employ a nutrient film technique that runs a stream of water just beneath the plant roots,” said Viraj Puri. “The water is recycled, so we use about a tenth of the water that conventional growers use and we can reach yields that are 20 times more than those from conventional crops.” Gotham Greens’ total climate system measures temperature, humidity, light levels and an array of other factors in order to create the perfect growing climate for their greens. The automated greenhouse then adjusts shades, vents and heaters to facilitate optimal plant growth 365 days out of the year. While heating a greenhouse during the cold New York winter uses more energy than a greenhouse in Mexico would ever need, Viraj Puri argues that their energy efficient system and the benefits of local produce outweigh the higher heating costs.

“We don’t have to transport our produce over long distances, so we save on transportation and we use fewer fossil fuels,” said Viraj Puri. “A lot of the design features of our facility and the renewable energy resources we have means we need about half the heating that other greenhouses in New York need.” Because they can pick their greens in the morning and have them in a supermarket later that afternoon also means their products is fresh, relative to greens shipped from Mexico. In fact, their second facility is located on the roof of Whole Foods Market’s flagship Brooklyn location, meaning that the product is only an elevator ride away from farm to shelf. Gotham Greens currently sells all of their produce within a 20 miles radius of their greenhouses where the entire growing process is sterile and insects are used as pest control, so there are no pesticide residues or contaminants to worry about. A longer shelf life and just a higher class of product attracts consumers and ensures repeat sales and premium prices.

“Our focus is on packaged salads and leafy greens that we can sell as a high-quality product and be competitive in retail stores,” said Viraj Puri. “It seems like there are more and more start-ups that are interested in vertical farms and completely indoor growing, so we want to focus on the product. You can only get attention so long for growing in the city, but the product has to stand on its own two feet. We don’t want to focus on trying to re-invent something or come up with a new business model; our goal is to focus on putting out a high-quality product.” Gotham Greens currently has two greenhouses in the New York area that provide their branded greens to retailers like Whole Foods Market, D’Agostino, Fresh Direct and Pea Pod as well as smaller neighborhood grocers. They plan on opening two more greenhouses in 2015, a 60,000 sq ft rooftop farm in Queens and a 75,000 sq ft  facility in Chicago, which is slated to be the world’s largest rooftop farm.

For more information:
Viraj Puri
Gotham Greens
Tel: +1 (646) 458-1747
[email protected]
www.gothamgreens.com

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Gallery: ‘Smarter’ Fresh & Easy debuts in Las Vegas

Fresh & Easy is getting “smarter” with a new-look store that made its debut in Las Vegas in late November as part of an effort by the chain’s new owners to reinvigorate the brand.

The stores, which feature totally new layouts and a new merchandise mix, are being touted in print, electronic and digital ads as a “smarter” store.  Eight of the 19 Las Vegas stores have already been upgraded, with the balance due to be remodeled by early January, the company said.

The 15,000-square-foot stores still utilize 10,000 square feet of selling space, but that space has been completely transformed, with lower shelving, more wood fixtures for a warmer look, more wall décor and a broader offering of healthy and natural foods, plus a wide selection of fresh offerings for in-store dining or takeout.

Related story: Fresh & Easy testing new-concept store in Las Vegas

Photos courtesy of Fresh & Easy
 

Supermarket News

Gallery: ‘Smarter’ Fresh & Easy debuts in Las Vegas

Fresh & Easy is getting “smarter” with a new-look store that made its debut in Las Vegas in late November as part of an effort by the chain’s new owners to reinvigorate the brand.

The stores, which feature totally new layouts and a new merchandise mix, are being touted in print, electronic and digital ads as a “smarter” store.  Eight of the 19 Las Vegas stores have already been upgraded, with the balance due to be remodeled by early January, the company said.

The 15,000-square-foot stores still utilize 10,000 square feet of selling space, but that space has been completely transformed, with lower shelving, more wood fixtures for a warmer look, more wall décor and a broader offering of healthy and natural foods, plus a wide selection of fresh offerings for in-store dining or takeout.

Related story: Fresh & Easy testing new-concept store in Las Vegas

Photos courtesy of Fresh & Easy
 

Supermarket News

Gallery: ‘Smarter’ Fresh & Easy debuts in Las Vegas

Fresh & Easy is getting “smarter” with a new-look store that made its debut in Las Vegas in late November as part of an effort by the chain’s new owners to reinvigorate the brand.

The stores, which feature totally new layouts and a new merchandise mix, are being touted in print, electronic and digital ads as a “smarter” store.  Eight of the 19 Las Vegas stores have already been upgraded, with the balance due to be remodeled by early January, the company said.

The 15,000-square-foot stores still utilize 10,000 square feet of selling space, but that space has been completely transformed, with lower shelving, more wood fixtures for a warmer look, more wall décor and a broader offering of healthy and natural foods, plus a wide selection of fresh offerings for in-store dining or takeout.

Related story: Fresh & Easy testing new-concept store in Las Vegas

Photos courtesy of Fresh & Easy
 

Supermarket News

Gallery: ‘Smarter’ Fresh & Easy debuts in Las Vegas

Fresh & Easy is getting “smarter” with a new-look store that made its debut in Las Vegas in late November as part of an effort by the chain’s new owners to reinvigorate the brand.

The stores, which feature totally new layouts and a new merchandise mix, are being touted in print, electronic and digital ads as a “smarter” store.  Eight of the 19 Las Vegas stores have already been upgraded, with the balance due to be remodeled by early January, the company said.

The 15,000-square-foot stores still utilize 10,000 square feet of selling space, but that space has been completely transformed, with lower shelving, more wood fixtures for a warmer look, more wall décor and a broader offering of healthy and natural foods, plus a wide selection of fresh offerings for in-store dining or takeout.

Related story: Fresh & Easy testing new-concept store in Las Vegas

Photos courtesy of Fresh & Easy
 

Supermarket News

Gallery: ‘Smarter’ Fresh & Easy debuts in Las Vegas

Fresh & Easy is getting “smarter” with a new-look store that made its debut in Las Vegas in late November as part of an effort by the chain’s new owners to reinvigorate the brand.

The stores, which feature totally new layouts and a new merchandise mix, are being touted in print, electronic and digital ads as a “smarter” store.  Eight of the 19 Las Vegas stores have already been upgraded, with the balance due to be remodeled by early January, the company said.

The 15,000-square-foot stores still utilize 10,000 square feet of selling space, but that space has been completely transformed, with lower shelving, more wood fixtures for a warmer look, more wall décor and a broader offering of healthy and natural foods, plus a wide selection of fresh offerings for in-store dining or takeout.

Related story: Fresh & Easy testing new-concept store in Las Vegas

Photos courtesy of Fresh & Easy
 

Supermarket News