The Kroger Co. and Infarm, a Berlin-based urban farming network, announced a first-of-its-kind partnership in the United States that will bring modular living produce farms to Kroger’s QFC stores in Washington state.
The living produce farms will launch this month at two of the 15 stores planned at QFC, at locations in Bellevue and Kirkland. Using hydroponic technology, the produce will grow on site at the participating QFC stores, removing the need for extended transportation and storage and producing a more eco-conscious product. The farms are designed to scale and will provide shoppers the freshest and most sustainable living produce options available.
“Kroger believes that everyone deserves to have access to fresh, affordable and delicious food, no matter who you are, how you shop or what you like to eat,” said Suzy Monford, Kroger's group vice president of fresh. “Our partnership with Infarm allows us to innovate by combining ground-breaking in-store farming technology with our passion for fresh, local produce and ecological sourcing. Kroger is excited to be first to market and offer the best of the season, and we're proud to lead the U.S. on this journey.”
“We want to make fresh, pure, tasty and nutritious produce available and affordable for everyone,” said Erez Galonska, CEO and co-founder at Infarm. “Kroger’s commitment to innovation, quality and flavor makes them the perfect partner with which to launch our business in the United States and for the first time in North America.”
A vertical Infarm installation in Germany. The company will be launching its in-store produce farms at Kroger's QFC stores in Washington state.
Founded in 2013 by Osnat Michaeli and the brothers Erez and Guy Galonska, Infarm combines highly efficient vertical farms with IoT technologies and machine learning, to offer an alternative food system that is resilient, transparent and affordable. The company distributes its smart modular farms throughout the urban environment to grow fresh produce for the city’s inhabitants. The company has over 500 farms in stores and distribution centers around the world and has partnered with more than 25 major retailers in seven countries: Germany, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and now the United States.
For Kroger, the vertical farm project is the latest in its initiatives promoting transparency and sustainability. The retailer has fully invested in its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan that aims to end hunger in local communities and eliminate waste across the company by 2025.
This piece originally appeared on Supermarket News, a New Hope Network sister website. Visit the site for more grocery trends and insights.