Whole Foods Market customers will soon be able to purchase a range of fresh produce that has been grown by Infarm – the world’s fastest growing urban farming network.
As part of its continued UK expansion, Infarm is set to install two of its modular vertical farming units in two of the London stores; High Street Kensington and Fulham, the Kensington Whole Foods, as well as one in Fulham , so shoppers can buy fresh produce grown in store.
The partnership between Infarm and Whole Foods Market aims to satisfy increasing consumer demand for sustainably grown products with a smaller environmental footprint, helping customers to both make healthy choices and reduce their food waste.
Infarm produce will be rolling out to Whole Foods Market stores in Piccadilly Circus, Stoke Newington, Richmond, Clapham Junction and Camden Whole Foods Market at the end of October and throughout November.* These stores will be supplied with produce from a local Infarm growing centre in Tottenham, providing flexible supply as and when required.
Whole Foods Market shoppers will be able to purchase Infarm’s range of herbs, including Mountain Coriander, Flat Parsley, Basil, Mint, Dill and Thai Basil. Infarm’s range of fresh lettuce (Crystal, Caravel, Duo and Red Romaine) will also be available to buy. Whole Foods Market is also set to stock Nero di Toscana, Scarlet Kale, Sorrel and Red Stem Mizuna.
Whole Foods Market customers will be able to purchase Infarm produce from the Kensington store from the 28th October, with wider availability across London stores over the following week.
The partnership with Whole Foods Market is Infarm’s latest major expansion into the UK retail space, following deals with Selfridges London, Farmdrop and Marks & Spencer. Infarm, which raised $170m in series C funding last month, can also be found in retailers across eight further markets beyond the UK, including the US, Canada, France, Germany, and will be launching soon in Japan
The expansion comes as retailers look to find innovative ways to combat climate change. Infarm units use 95% less water and 90% less transport than traditional agriculture, as well as 75% less fertiliser and no pesticides. Measuring just two square metres, Infarm’s in-store farms produce more than 8000 plants per year, with the first harvest from Whole Foods Market Kensington due on 19 November.
Daniel Kats, VP of corporate sales at Infarm said: “Whole Foods Market felt like a perfect fit for Infarm. Its commitment to providing customers with vibrant, sustainable food aligns with our goal of growing produce locally and, in the process, substantially reducing food waste and the environmental impact of what we consume. We hope that in installing our modular farms in Kensington and Fulham, we can help to educate shoppers about the future of food.”
Jade Hoai, Director of Purchasing and Operations at Whole Foods Market, said: “We are excited to partner with Infarm to offer a truly hyper-local selection of greens and herbs across all of our London stores. Whole Foods Market customers can expect to find fresh, unique herbs from Infarm’s vertical growing units like Boudreaux purple basil, that are grown locally, have no pesticides, and use a fraction of the traditional resources required to grow. We are excited about this relationship for its joint commitment to environmental stewardship and for the delicious, nutritious meals our customers will be crafting at home.”
Founded in Berlin in 2013 by Osnat Michaeli and the brothers Erez and Guy Galonska, Infarm is dedicated to creating a future where local super fresh produce is available for everyone. The farms are placed in various locations in the city, like supermarkets, restaurants and distribution centres, so that vegetables grow and are harvested close to the moment of purchase or consumption.
Infarm farmers visit the store after each growth cycle to add new seedlings to the farm. The plants retain their roots post-harvest to maintain exceptional flavour and freshness, meaning they’re still alive when harvested.
These controlled, growing environments are connected to a central cloud-based farm-brain which gathers more than 50,000 data points through a plant’s lifetime, allowing the platform to learn, adapt and improve itself constantly, so that every plant grows better than the one before. This modular, data-driven, and distributed approach — a combination of big data, IoT, and cloud analytics, in addition to rapid growth at a global scale — sets Infarm apart from any other urban, farming solution.