Driscoll’s, a leading consumer brand in field-grown strawberries, has inked a deal to grow in vertical indoor farms belonging to Plenty Unlimited.
Together, the two companies will work to bring flavourful strawberry varieties to market, leveraging the benefits of a controlled growing environment while also creating opportunity for berry expansion into regions that have historically been difficult to serve.
"It's clear that Plenty's vision and capabilities of pioneering the potential of indoor farming technology makes them the leader in this space," said J. Miles Reiter, Driscoll's chair and CEO. "As one of the few berry companies with a dedicated global R&D program, we believe our proprietary berries, which are focused on flavour, combined with Plenty's technology leadership will create a competitive market edge as we expand to more effectively meet the future consumer."
Plenty will incorporate Driscoll's proprietary genetics and berry expertise into its advanced, indoor farming technology using its plant science expertise. Through this controlled environment, Plenty can consistently deliver great flavours from Driscoll's varieties, while also optimizing for texture and size. The indoor environment will remove the unpredictability of Mother Nature, allowing both companies to meet the future needs of consumers worldwide, including geographical locations that are not hospitable to growing strawberries.
Using data analytics, machine learning and customized lighting, Plenty is able to iterate at unprecedented speed, leveraging the more than 200 years’ worth of growing data the platform generates annually.
This advanced agri-food platform has allowed Plenty to show more than 700% yield improvement in leafy greens in the last 24 months, while maintaining its unique flavour and quality. Plenty's South San Francisco leafy greens farm uses 100% renewable energy, powered by a combination of wind and solar energy.
Driscoll's strawberries will initially be grown and developed in Plenty's Laramie, Wyoming farm, the largest privately-owned vertical farm research and development center in the world.
Source: Driscoll’s/Plenty joint news release October 14, 2020.