U.S.: BrightFarms eyes continued expansion following US$55M investment
It secured the funding through a Series D equity financing round led by Cox Enterprises, a leading media and automotive services company.
BrightFarms currently has four greenhouses in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois and Ohio (opening this summer) and has a fifth scheduled to open in Texas in early 2019.
The company has ambitious plans to build 10 to 15 more greenhouses in the next three years.
"As we continue to grow, we're focused on regions across the entire country that are near city centers. These areas enable us to provide access to locally-grown produce at a cost where most Americans can participate," Paul Lightfoot said in a statement sent to Fresh Fruit Portal.
BrightFarms grows salad greens including baby spinach, spring mix, baby romaine, baby arugula and baby kale, as well as multiple varieties of basil. The produce is sold in U.S. retailers including Walmart, Kroger, Ahold and Albertsons.
"We are always testing new, innovative varieties to meet retailer and consumer demands. Most recently, we launched Sunny Crunch, an iceberg-leafy green blend that has the crunch of an iceberg but the higher nutrition density and flavor that is typically found in darker greens," Lightfoot said.
He went on to explain BrightFarms' strategy was to build greenhouses near major metro areas, adding that using natural sunlight to grow plants enables us to be scalable in a cost-effective way.
"We've also made it our priority to work with the nation's largest retailers through produce purchase agreements. With a one-week freshness advantage, innovative varieties, a more reliable and safe supply chain, and consistently higher category sales, we've developed very successful partnerships with these retailers," he said.
"Working through these high-volume channels allows us to offer a premium, delicious and healthy product at an affordable price for the average consumer."