Driscoll’s, Plenty expand relationship for vertical strawberries
A year after announcing a joint R&D venture, Driscoll’s and Plenty Unlimited said they will expand their relationship to build a new indoor vertical farm dedicated exclusively to strawberries.
According to a statement, after exceeding the goals set forward for the initial stages of the partnership, the two companies are accelerating efforts to grow Driscoll’s proprietary, best-in-class flavorful berries using Plenty’s unique vertical growing platform.
This new farm, to serve consumers in the Northeastern United States, will provide strawberries, targeting berry loving consumers living in highly dense urban regions. This strategy will provide the fastest category growth to a mature market that has demonstrated appreciation for a high-flavor product offering.
“The Northeast is the largest berry consumption region in the US, with a dense population of berry-loving consumers,” said Arama Kukutai, CEO at Plenty. “
"Our partnership with Driscoll’s, coupled with Plenty’s optimized technology platform, ensures we can consistently grow premium berries closer to where these consumers live, providing fresh, consistent quality”, Kukutai added.
According to the statement, through the agreement the two companies have successfully leveraged the expertise of the world’s largest strawberry breeding program within Plenty’s own controlled growing environment, maximizing the flavor of each berry and optimizing for both texture and size.
“Over the last year Plenty has demonstrated its technological leadership in indoor vertical farming by growing our proprietary strawberries to meet the rigorous flavor and quality required of a Driscoll’s berry,” said J. Miles Reiter, Driscoll’s Chairman and CEO.
“We are excited to see the initial success of our collaboration and look forward to expanding our relationship with a new farm that will drive category growth to the Northeastern part of the US.”
Plenty utilizes Driscoll’s proprietary genetics and berry expertise alongside its own advanced, indoor farming technology and plant science expertise to grow Driscoll’s beloved berries. Leveraging the massive amounts of growing data generated by its platform, Plenty uses proprietary data analytics, machine learning and customized lighting to consistently deliver yields 150-350 times greater per acre than the field.
As part of the partnership, Driscoll’s strawberries were initially grown in Plenty’s Laramie, Wyoming farm, the largest indoor plant science research facility of its kind.