Plenty, Albertsons, Agtech, Foodtech, Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, Softbank, Jeff Bezos, Amazon, Eric Schmidt, Google, Larry Ellison, Oracle, Startup, Agriculture, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Supply Chain, Grocery, Vertical Farming, İndoor Farming, Data Science, Deliveroo, Doordash, Instacart, Venture Capital, Vc

Plenty, Albertsons

Coronavirus May Mean More Indoor-Grown Produce At Your Local Supermarket

Coronavirus may mean more indoor-grown produce at your local supermarket

8/14/2020 2:04:00 PM

Coronavirus may mean more indoor-grown produce at your local supermarket

The pandemic has disrupted the traditional U.S. food and agriculture supply chain and created a potential growth opportunity for plant-based meat companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods . It may also mean you see more produce from indoor vertical farms in the so-called AgTech space.

“When Covid hit, that severely shocked the food chain and distribution centers were closed,” Matt Barnard, Plenty CEO, said on CNBC on Wednesday. “There were instances when Plenty was the only thing on the shelf. We were able to prove the extreme reliability of our farms and short food chain with our local farms.”

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With its rivals including AeroFarms and Bowery Farming, these indoor farms are part of a growing crop of AgTech companies that often have some sort of environmental sustainability pitch and tout the use of data science and other technology to increase crop yield and make different parts of agriculture more efficient and traceable. Plenty, for instance, said its vertical indoor farm uses less than 1% of the land and 5% of the water compared with traditional farming. 

In another sign of growing interest in the space, Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison and physician Dr. David Agus in July formed Sensei Holdings, which includes an indoor-farm AgTech unit. Investors also look to be taking a growing interest in the space, especially against the uncertain impact of the pandemic and how it may upend the global food-supply chain. 

Read more: Forbes »

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