The world’s largest vertical farm, dubbed Emirates Crop One (ECO 1), was unveiled in Dubai by the indoor vertical farming business Crop One Holdings and Emirates Flight Catering. The hydroponic 330,000-square-foot facility, which produces plants without soil using nutrient-rich water, is expected to produce 2 million pounds of greens yearly.
Crop One, an indoor vertical farming business based outside of Boston, Massachusetts, is on a quest to build a sustainable future in order to satisfy the need for fresh, local food throughout the world. Crop One generates fresh, delectable leafy greens using 95% less water than field-grown produce thanks to its Plants-FirstTM methodology and sector-leading technology platform. Crops may be grown and harvested year-round, regardless of the season because crop growth occurs in completely enclosed and regulated conditions. FreshBox Farms, a brand that is carried by a number of merchants all around southern New England, is the name by which Crop One markets its fresh, regional products.
Emirates Flight Catering, in addition to providing laundry, food preparation, and airport lounge food & beverage, Emirates Flight Catering also provides airline, events, and VIP catering. It is a dependable partner for more than 100 airlines, hospitality organizations, and UAE government agencies. The company’s 11,000 devoted workers handle 210 tonnes of laundry and make an average of 200,000 meals every day.
In order to construct this new farm, Crop One and Emirates entered into a joint venture worth $40 million in 2018. Crop One constructed its first vertical farm at its headquarters in Millis, Massachusetts, in 2015.
While the technology for doing this can be expensive, Crop One CEO Craig Ratajczyk told Fast Company that “size does matter in the food production market.” The facility monitors and changes levels of sunlight, nutrients, and humidity.
The economics “work out perfectly when you’re talking about something this massive,” Ratajczyk added. So the farm ends up being quite successful. Starting this month, passengers on Emirates and other airlines will receive lettuce, arugula, spinach, and mixed salad greens from the farm while consumers in the UAE can purchase the items from shops that carry the Bustanica brand. Customers don’t need to wash them because there are no pesticides or herbicides applied, according to Ratajczyk.
The consumption of water and pollution in farming might be reduced by vertical farming firms, which received $1.6 billion in financing last year, according to Pitchbook. However, they still require a lot of energy to operate, as observed by Emerging Tech Brew. Although Ratajczyk stated it has ambitions to employ solar panels, ECO 1 still runs on conventional electricity despite boasting that it consumes 95% less water than traditionally cultivated vegetables.