Indoor-farming company Gotham Greens has officially debuted the first phase of its 10-acre, cutting-edge hydroponic greenhouse near the University of California-Davis campus. This national greenhouse expansion gives the company the nation’s largest network of high-tech hydroponic greenhouses: nine facilities in six states. Gotham Greens’ other greenhouses are located in New York, Illinois, Rhode Island, Maryland and Colorado.
Sustainable farming practices allow Gotham Greens to grow salad greens and herbs year-round while conserving 300 acres of land and 270 million gallons of water annually compared with conventional farming practices. The company’s unique irrigation techniques use less than 1 gallon of water to grow a head of lettuce versus up to 10 gallons used in conventional open-field farming.
The new greenhouse facilitates accelerated growth for Gotham Greens on both a regional and national scale. Consumers can buy Gotham Greens’ line of salad greens, herbs, dressings, dips and cooking sauces at retailers throughout California, among them Whole Foods Market, Raley’s, Sprouts Farmers Market, Good Eggs and Berkeley Bowl. Gotham Greens products are available at about 3,000 retail locations across more than 45 states.
The expansion also bolsters Gotham Greens’ strategic partnership with University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources and UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The Solano County, Calif., greenhouse will foster collaboration on research and innovation to advance the science, workforce, technology and profitability of the indoor-farming industry.
“California is the center of North America’s leafy-greens production, where water shortages, wildfires and other results of climate change are straining critical agricultural resources. By putting down roots in California, we aspire to be a part of the agricultural industry’s solution to the increasingly visible impacts of climate change,” explained Viraj Puri, co-founder and CEO of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Gotham Greens. “Our newest greenhouse facility in Northern California is strategically located to service retailers and foodservice providers throughout the region more quickly while conserving precious resources, including land and water. We are excited to continue to expand our footprint, work in partnership with UC Davis and innovate with the agricultural industry in California for a better food system.”
Gotham Greens’ new California greenhouse arrives in tandem with the company’s Certified B Corp status. The certification represents the company’s mission of driving the industry toward a more sustainable food system through industry-leading social and environmental practices. Other food industry companies to earn the certification include West Coast independent grocers Erewhon and New Seasons Market and e-grocers Thrive Market and Imperfect Foods.
“Our B Corp certification comes at a pivotal time for Gotham Greens as we celebrate our 10th anniversary, the opening of our California greenhouse and our plans for future growth,” noted Jenn Frymark, the company’s chief greenhouse officer. “The certification will add in additional layers of accountability and transparency for our employees, customers, retail and foodservice partners, and investors as we continue to innovate our food system to build a better future for generations to come.”
Additionally, Gotham Greens has formally revealed new and rigorous outcome-based sustainability commitments:
Launched in 2011, Gotham Greens has grown from a single urban rooftop greenhouse in Brooklyn to one of the largest hydroponic leafy green producers in North America. The advanced technology deployed in its greenhouses allows the company to grow leafy greens and herbs using up to 95% less water and 97% less land compared with conventional open-field farming practices.
The first certified-organic national grocer, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods, with more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, is No. 26 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top retailers of food and consumables in the United States, while its parent company, Seattle-based Amazon, is No. 2 on PG’s list. Phoenix-based Sprouts, which employs about 35,000 associates and operates more than 360 stores in 23 states nationwide, is No. 48 on The PG 100, and West Sacramento, Calif.-based Raley’s, which operates more than 120 stores under six banners with approximately 13,000 employees across California and Nevada, is No. 61.