Expansion plans have been announced by BrightFarms and Metro Distribution.
BrightFarms has broke ground October 16th on its fourth greenhouse, this one in Wilmington, OH.
The facility will be 120,000 square feet and supply salad greens and herbs to retailers in the Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus metro areas, according to a news release.
Based in New York City, BrightFarms envisions building greenhouses around the U.S. to provide local product.
“There is a large opportunity for the supermarket produce department to grow if they can source locally, CEO Paul Lightfoot said in the release. “BrightFarms sees a clear opportunity in the market to expand our model for local produce across the country.”
BrightFarms continues to report increasing interest in its product, as it did earlier this year when an early finish for leafy greens in Yuma, Ariz., and a late start in Salinas, Calif., resulted in gaps in supply.
“We have seen demand for our local greens climb sharply as retailers have come to rely on the stability and consistency of our product,” Lightfoot said.
According to its website, Bright Farms has been working in urban agriculture since 2006. Since 2011, the company has been on a quest to bring commercial scale urban agriculture to the market, take our farms and the industry to the next level, and change the way we eat as a society.
Metro Inc. announced a projected $400 million investment over six years in its Ontario distribution network. The firm will modernize its operations in Toronto between 2018 and 2023 by building a new fresh distribution facility and a new frozen distribution facility, both of which will leverage technological improvements like automation.
The company’s distribution network in Toronto was built mostly over 50 years ago and no longer meets the evolving needs of the business.
Metro currently operates six distribution centers in Ontario. Four centers are located in Toronto and two in Ottawa. Together, they provide employment to over 1,500 employees. Metro’s
decision to modernize and automate a part of its distribution network will result in an anticipated loss of approximately 180 full-time and 100 part-time positions starting in 2021.