Published on September 21st, 2011 | by Elizabeth Smyth1
BrightFarms – Shortening The Food Chain
We all know the modern food chain is way too long, costs too much and consumes too many natural resources. One New York company is hoping to change all that.
BrightFarms designs, finances, builds and operates hydroponic greenhouse farms on supermarket rooftops. By creating a hyperlocal market, cost, time and resources are lessened and consumers get the freshest food available.
According to the company, a 1-acre BrightFarms greenhouse will grow around 500,000 lbs of produce a year, generate $1 million to $1.5 million in revenue per year and create between 8 to 16 new local farm jobs. Environmental savings amount to around 740 tons of CO2 emissions per year, 430 lbs a year of pesticides and around 5 million gallons of water a year.
To be eligible, Grocers must sign a 10-year purchase agreement, requiring the retailer to purchase 100 percent of the BrightFarm’s output at fixed prices. Simultaneously BrightFarms guarantees the volume and quality of output by contracting with experienced local farmers.
Since Grocers don’t have to pay the upfront costs of designing and building the greenhouse, typically $1.5 – 2 Million USD, many smaller grocers should be able to take advantage the BrightFarms offering.
So far, 10 supermarket chains have signed up to work with BrightFarms, including 5 of the top 50 national chains, since December 2010 with the first three commercial greenhouses opening in early 2012.
Watch the video below to learn more!
Image Credit: Flickr – BrightFarms