AppHarvest CEO on scaling sustainable agriculture: ‘We don’t have a choice’

AppHarvest CEO Jonathan Webb joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss scaling controlled environment agriculture infrastructure, keeping produce prices low, and the future of farming as climate change impacts grow.

"This is a challenge that not only the US will be tackling, but the world will be tackling for the next few decades. So when you say how much do we need to bring on, well, just to bring tomato production back into the US, which currently, we imported about 4 billion pounds of tomatoes from Mexico to the US last year, you would need to build 20,000 acres of what AppHarvest built in Morehead, Kentucky, our first facility with 60 acres, about $140 million investment. So you can do the math. We need to build a lot of infrastructure over the next decade, and in order to use less land, use less water, and grow more food in the middle of climate disruption." 

"We really don't think we need to be raising prices for the consumer much above kind of where we're at now. It's more about for us, as a company, making sure that we can build and operate facilities at the price point that's available. If you look at the average US consumer, 50% or more of people going to the grocery store don't have the luxury to spend more for a premium product. So what we believe, CEA, Controlled Environment Agriculture, our job is, is to displace dirty open field imports, but do it at or around the same price. " 

Read the article and watch the video at www.finance.yahoo.com.


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