As more consumers seek out sustainably produced food options, a new partnership announced today is taking a critical step in that direction by adopting cleaner energy practices that will affect the indoor farming industry and the food you eat.
Freight Farms, a Boston-based, global manufacturing leader of climate-controlled, vertical, hydroponic container farming technology which empowers increased growth of hyper-local food, and Arcadia, which offers easy access for communities and businesses to connect to affordable renewable energy power, are joining forces to “enable Freight Farmers in the U.S. to match 100% of their electrical consumption with solar and wind energy, while driving demand for more clean energy suppliers,” according to the announcement.
Freight Farms’s CEO Rick Vanzura tells Changing America the effects of this important step when Freight Farmers sign up for the Arcadia partnership: “They will be able to reduce their Greenery’s carbon footprint by up to 93% based on their location, making their overall carbon footprint one-fourth that of industrial farming operations.”
"Our farmers are passionate about sustainability by nature of their efforts to grow healthy food hyper-locally, but many are unable to adopt clean energy directly based on cost and availability of options in their location," says Vanzura. "With Arcadia, our farmers are able to further reduce their business' carbon footprint while simultaneously increasing demand for more clean energy in the market, all without disrupting the daily flow of their businesses."
Vanzura tells Changing America, since its inception, Freight Farms has always focused on four key pillars for a more sustainable planet.
- -“The first is soil. The world has seen a significant decline in arable land due to climate change and other factors over the last 30 years. We are hydroponic and therefore do not use soil.”
- -“The second is water. Billions of people globally deal with water scarcity, and it has been a widely publicized and growing issue even here in the U.S. 70% of water use globally is for agricultural irrigation. We use 99% less water than traditional forms of agriculture."
- -“The third is food miles. Most food gets shipped over 1,000 miles from point of origin to the consumer, with all of the associated environmental impacts. Our solution is hyper-local, so our typical food miles are below 20.”
- -“This leaves the 4th pillar, power consumption, which we had not yet solved. Arcadia provides us a solution by offering a clean energy alternative for our farmers. We can now say we are sustainable across all four dimensions that matter in agriculture,” says Vanzura.
Freight Farms has farmers in 45 states nationwide and 28 countries around the world. One of those is Aviad Sheinfeld, the founding farmer at Wiseacre Farm in Glenview, Ill., located northwest of Chicago. Wiseacre Farms grows “hyperlocal greens coveted by chefs.”
Sheinfeld tells Changing America what the Freight Farms/Arcadia partnership means for his business. “At Wiseacre Farm, we're laser-focused on sustainable farming. Using controlled environment agriculture, we're able to farm without herbicides and pesticides, practice water efficiency, and reduce waste of fertilizers and supplements. The one thing we do use is electricity to power the LED arrays that facilitate our plant growth year-round. Freight Farms' partnership with Arcadia now allows us to guarantee that all of the electricity we use is matched with renewable energy, allowing us to farm even more sustainably.”
Arcadia says its mission is to "make renewable energy accessible for everyone."
The partnership with Arcadia is “the latest actionable step we are taking to lead the industry into a continually more sustainable future through innovation and forward-thinking collaboration,” says Vanzura.