Food Service & Agriculture, Retail, and Sustainability

Food distributor plans first urban farm

April 8, 2019
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Square Roots indoor farm workers
Photo via instagram.com

A locally based food distributor and retailer has revealed its first urban farm location.

Gordon Food Service will build its first indoor farm campus in partnership with Brooklyn, New York-based Square Roots at the food company's headquarters in Wyoming, according to Gordon Food Service last month.

Construction and installation are expected to be completed this fall, with growing operations beginning immediately thereafter.

Gordon Food Service and Square Roots announced their partnership on March 6.

The first location is intended to set a template for future farms within Gordon Food Service’s U.S. and Canadian footprints.

“This partnership brings together technology, agriculture, young farmers and scalability in a model that could revolutionize our food systems — and it’s wonderful to be starting in our own backyard,” said Rich Wolowski, North American president and CEO, Gordon Food Service.

Farm campus details

Square Roots builds modular, cloud-connected indoor hydroponic farms using shipping containers.

It also equips future generations of farmers through its Next-Gen Farmer Training Program.

The partners’ flagship farm campus plan includes 10 specially designed Square Roots shipping containers in direct production, with four additional containers providing operational support.

The containers will occupy less than 2 acres of the 50-acre HQ site and produce more than 50,000 pounds of herbs annually.

The partners said the farm’s produce will be non-GMO, pesticide-free and meet Gordon Food’s “high quality and safety standards.”

Produce will be available for purchase at Gordon Food Service’s area retail stores.

Training

Square Roots will hire a class of new farmers to participate in its yearlong Next-Gen Farmer Training Program​ at the Wyoming farm campus.

The recruitment process will start in early summer, and the program will begin in the fall.

Those interested can sign up for early access to applications online.

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