Impact in brief • 3 min read
At the same time, the earth’s population is growing fast. Indeed, if current trends continue, the growth will mean we’ll need an enormous 70% increase in food production to feed everyone in the coming decades.
But a solution is at hand: vertical farming. This method sees indoor facilities grow crops in vertically stacked layers. It’s an emerging area of agricultural technology that’s going to be key to ensuring humanity’s food security.
AppHarvest is at the forefront of this new era of farming. A registered B Corp, the Kentucky-based company grows sustainable fruit and vegetables in state of the art facilities that take up less space than traditional farms.
Founder Jonathan Webb started with a single 60-acre tomato farm in 2017 and is now building two additional farms to widen AppHarvest’s product range. By 2025, Webb aims to have 12 farms producing an even wider variety of products.
These plans are moving along fast. To date, AppHarvest has invested a massive $1 billion into developing vertical farming technology.
This means its farms are truly next generation. On site, artificial intelligence-powered robotic harvesters pick tomatoes at the optimal time to ensure they hit the shelves at peak quality and to reduce waste.
The company is 30 times more efficient than conventional tomato farms and uses only rainwater during the farming process. This is 90% less water than is used in traditional agriculture.
The company also uses water retention ponds that collect 70 Olympic pools-worth of water for recycling and drip irrigation, which ensures the plants receive vital nutrients.
The company supports UN Sustainable Development Goals numbers 2, 6, 8, 9, and 12, among others.
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