The U.S.firm BrightFarms, interested in urban agriculture since 2006, has been on aquest to bring it to the market on a commercial scale since 2011. TobyTiktinsky of Bright Farms affirms that “our products are all grown locally inour 56,000 square feet greenhouse in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (with plans toexpand in Washington D.C.), and are distributed to key stores across severalstates. We are seeing very strong distribution and demand, so the product is areal success.”
Originally,the company was looking at opportunities to make use of space on rooftops,which according to the spokesperson, made a lot of sense for supermarkets.However, “the greenhouse would produce more than could be used in any onestore, and given the cost of building it, it seemed more economical and fasterto build at ground level and supply to stores nearby.”
At themoment, BrightFarms is growing mainly lettuces and herbs on deep flowhydroponic systems. “Even though the products are not certified organic, Brightfarmsgrows in the spirit of the organic movement, using organic seeds and pestcontrol methods. Growing hydroponically is also more sustainable thanconventional field agriculture with respect to water and land use. Our goal isto build additional greenhouses for our clients over time that will produceother types of products, such as vine crops.
The labelis designed to educate the consumer about how Brightfarms is growing in amanner that is better for the environment and delivers a fresher, bettertasting product. “Because it’s not shipped across the country, not only is theproduct guaranteed to be fresher, but is also more environmentally-friendly. Ithas a quality you just can’t reach with field-grown produce.”