BrightFarms has announced plans for expansion with new greenhouse farms in New England (Central MA), New York (Hudson Valley) and North Carolina. The new greenhouses will each be 280,000 square feet and sit on 20 acres of land. According to the company, each greenhouse is expected to create around 55 full-time jobs.
The three new greenhouses will increase the brand’s presence and add to the company's network of "local" farms across the Mid-Atlantic and into the South. The company currently operates greenhouses in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, supplying retailers in a dozen major metro markets.
In order to more rapidly meet retailer demands for locally grown produce, BrightFarms will also explore acquisitions and partnerships with existing greenhouse growers in each of the new markets.
“We are committed to transforming the produce category to provide the freshest, tastiest and most responsibly grown produce,” said Paul Lightfoot, CEO of BrightFarms. “Consumers are placing high demand for locally grown, fresh salads. With local greenhouses across the Mid-Atlantic and growing, BrightFarms is well positioned to meet these demands for national retailers.”
The company plans to break ground on the new greenhouses by year’s end, with production starting in the spring of 2020. The greenhouses will each produce more than two million pounds of fresh, leafy salad greens and herbs per year. It claims they will use an estimated 80 percent less water, 90 percent less land and 95 percent less shipping fuel than West Coast farms.
BrightFarms’ national expansion follows the announcement of its Series D financing, where the company raised $55 million, and the addition its new CFO, Steve Campione. The company said Campione’s substantial experience in raising capital and executing acquisitions will support the company’s aggressive expansion.