Whole Foods Market becomes the third major retailer in the UK to install vertical farms to grow produce in store
LONDON, Oct. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Whole Foods Market customers are now able to purchase a range of fresh produce that has been grown by Infarm – the world's fastest growing urban farming network.
It marks the third major expansion into the UK retail space for Infarm as retailers seek ways to reduce the environmental footprint in their supply chain and develop their range of sustainable produce.
Infarm has installed two of its modular vertical farming units in two of Whole Foods Market's London outlets; High Street Kensington and Fulham, so shoppers can buy fresh produce grown directly in store. The remaining five London stores will be supplied with produce from a local Infarm growing centre in Tottenham, providing flexible supply as and when required.
The partnership between Infarm and Whole Foods Market aims to satisfy increasing consumer demand for sustainably grown products, helping customers to both make healthy choices and reduce their food waste.
The launch follows deals with Selfridges London and Marks & Spencer, as well as the online delivery service Farmdrop, and shows how a growing number of retailers are now taking action to create a more sustainable food system.
Daniel Kats, VP of Corporate Sales at Infarm said: "Whole Foods Market felt like a perfect fit for Infarm. Its commitment to providing customers with vibrant, sustainable food aligns with our goal of growing produce locally and, in the process, substantially reducing food waste and the environmental impact of what we consume. We hope that in installing our modular farms in Kensington and Fulham, we can help to educate shoppers about the future of food."
Jade Hoai, Director of Purchasing and Operations at Whole Foods Market, said: "We are excited to partner with Infarm to offer a truly hyper-local selection of greens and herbs across all of our London stores. Whole Foods Market customers can expect to find fresh, unique herbs from Infarm's vertical growing units like Bordeaux purple basil, that are grown locally, have no pesticides, and use a fraction of the traditional resources required to grow. We are excited about this relationship for its joint commitment to environmental stewardship and for the delicious, nutritious meals our customers will be crafting at home."
Whole Foods Market shoppers will be able to purchase Infarm's range of herbs, including Mountain Coriander, Flat Parsley, Basil, Mint, Dill and Thai Basil. Infarm's range of fresh lettuce (Crystal, Caravel, Duo and Red Romaine) will also be available to buy. Whole Foods Market is also set to stock Nero di Toscana, Scarlet Kale, Sorrel and Red Stem Mizuna.
Infarm farmers visit the store after each growth cycle to add new seedlings to the farm. The plants retain their roots post-harvest to maintain exceptional flavour and freshness, meaning they're still alive when harvested.
The expansion comes as retailers look to find innovative ways to combat climate change. Infarm units use 95% less water and 90% less transport than traditional agriculture, as well as 75% less fertiliser and no pesticides. Measuring just two square metres, Infarm's in-store farms produce more than 8,000 plants per year, with the first harvest from Whole Foods Market Kensington due on 19 November.
Notes to Editors
Shoppers will be able to purchase Infarm produce from Whole Foods Market Fulham and Piccadilly Circus from October 29th, Stoke Newington from November 2nd, and Richmond, Clapham Junction and Camden from November 5th. These stores will have Infarm's produce on sale, freshly harvested and delivered to Whole Foods Market directly from Infarm's London plant hub.
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Infarm was founded in Berlin in 2013 by Osnat Michaeli and the brothers Erez and Guy Galonska. Passionate to become self-sufficient and eat better, they were growing their own food, enjoying all the flavor and nutrients, without the chemical pesticides and transport kilometers. With the aim to share the goodness of own-grown produce with everyone, they developed a smart modular farming system, that allows distribution of farms throughout the urban environment, growing fresh produce in any available space and fulfilling any market demand. Today, with cutting edge R&D, patented technologies, and a leading multi-disciplinary team, Infarm is growing a worldwide farming network helping cities become self-sufficient in their food production while significantly improving the safety, quality, and environmental footprint of our food.
With a multinational team of 600 people globally, Infarm has partnered with more than 30 major food retailers including Albert Heijn, Aldi Süd, Amazon Fresh, Auchan, Casino, E.Leclerc, Edeka, Empire Company Ltd (Safeway, Sobeys, ThriftyFoods), Farmdrop, Intermarché, Irma, Kinokuniya, Kroger, Marks & Spencer, Metro, Migros, Selfridges and Selgros in Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States and Switzerland, deployed more than 1000 farms in stores and distribution centres, saved more than 7,000,000 gallons of water and 400,000 square feet of land, while harvesting 500,000+ plants monthly and growing.
About Whole Foods Market
- The world's leading natural and organic foods retailer, with 7 stores in the UK comprising over 1000+ staff.
- Stores contain a huge range of products that lead the way in quality, specialty and vegan diets. Stores have butchers, bakeries, fishmongers, cheesemongers and specialist grocers, as well as in-store coffee roasters, health and beauty departments, restaurants and cafes.
- Whole Foods Market has two charitable foundations active in the UK, the Whole Planet Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation
- Visit WholeFoodsMarket.co.uk or @wholefoodsuk to find out more.