Kroger to expand supply partnership with indoor farming company
- Kroger is expanding its partnership with indoor farming company Gotham Greens to supply produce to nearly 1,000 of its stores by the end of 2023, according to a Monday press release.
- In addition to supplying the grocer with produce, Gotham Greens will bring its plant-based dips, cooking sauces and dressings to around 2,000 Kroger stores, according to the announcement.
- This partnership comes as Kroger continues to further its sustainability efforts and vertical farming becomes more mainstream within the industry.
Kroger and Gotham Greens first launched their supplier partnership in 2020 in the grocer’s King Soopers division. Today, the indoor farming company’s produce is in over 300 Kroger stores, per the press release.
This supplier expansion is also part of Kroger’s initiative of being a zero-food-waste-to-landfill company by 2025, the announcement noted, as it continues to focus on reducing its climate impact. Gotham Greens farms use up to 95% less water and 97% less land with hydroponic growing systems in sunlight-powered greenhouses compared to field-grown farming, making it fitting for the grocer’s green efforts, the announcement said.
“Gotham Greens’ state-of-the-art, climate-controlled greenhouses reduce the number of days the products spend between harvest and our store shelves, while removing unpredictable weather challenges and improving product quality and shelf life. These factors ultimately reduce food waste, both in stores and in consumers’ homes,” Dan De La Rosa, Kroger’s group vice president of fresh merchandising, said in a statement.
Other sustainability efforts from the grocer include Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation teaming up with the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research in May to launch a grant project to find ways to more accurately measure food waste accumulated by U.S. households.
Gotham Greens announced in September it raised $310 million in new funding and announced it had FresH2O Growers Inc., a Virginia-based hydroponic grower — Gotham’s first acquisition — around the same time. Kroger noted that Gotham Greens will own and operate 13 greenhouses, equalling over 40 acres, across nine states by the summer.
Other vertical farming efforts have also gained momentum over the past year. Plenty, which has a partnership with Albertsons, said in September it plans to invest $300 million over the next six years into what it claims will be the world’s largest indoor vertical farm campus.