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Partnership with foodservice business
Hydroponic container farm company starts growing its own hyper local produce
A new custom partnership between retail foodservice business B.GOOD and Freight Farms will result in hyper local produce available for use in their New England locations. The partnership is maximizing on Freight Farms’ food production capabilities with B.GOOD’s philosophy of providing commitment to fresh and local produce year-round at a consistent quality and quantity.
Creating local food availability
Until now Freight Farms has been primarily developing hydroponic shipping container farms (the Leafy Green Machine™) and its associated software (farmhand®) but this will be their first food production venture. Brad McNamara, CEO of Freight Farms, says they’ve already had a connection with B.GOOD for several years. "Discussions of supply chain trials and tribulations and wanting to have a truly local program were an ongoing topic. They’ve always been very forward thinking,” McNamara says of B.GOOD. “They’re about transparency, traceability and striving to find a way to do local in a true way. It’s made for easy mutual learning and good conversation.”
Local lettuce for signature menu item
There are approximately 30 locations dispersed throughout New England alone. “I think that’s where the conversation started to get really interesting,” says McNamara. “For them, finding a way to do local in all the different places they want to expand B.GOOD is an issue: i.e. your local scene in the Boston area is very different than the scene in Springfield or Connecticut.” By using Freight Farms’ containerized hydroponic system, it doesn’t matter where the ‘farm’ is located. Freight Farms will be growing 600-700 heads of bib lettuce a week for B.GOOD’s signature Cousin Oliver burger menu item for about 17 or 18 of its stores.
Growing food ourselves
McNamara says the Freight Farms team is excited to get right down to the business of actual farming. “This is something that we’ve never officially done before in terms of us running our own facilities and growing the food ourselves. The partnership and the timing is right, he says and with the technology, training and experience Freight Farms already has, it was easy to take that last step and branch out into growing as well.
Hydroponic lettuce supply
Determining production, demand and supply won’t really be an issue with the detailed growing data Freight Farms already has access to. “We’re running on the same platform with the same data set and software as our other 200+ growers around the globe so when it comes to production, we know it down to a T,” McNamara says. The partnership officially began April 10th, 2018, as trucks distributing Freight Farms hydroponic lettuce spread across New England to the majority of B.GOOD’s locations.
Immediate cold supply chain availability
Distribution also remains local: Freight Farms has set up a farm collocated at B.GOOD’s existing distribution facility. “We can provide turnkey distribution as well. The distributor has refrigerated trucks that are already going to all locations in the area on a bi-weekly basis. By locating our farm there we take our food safety to another level by immediately harvesting and packing the lettuce: we never break the cold supply chain before it gets to the kitchen.”
For more information:
Tel: (+1) 781-966-4145
Publication date: 4/16/2018
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