What measures is AeroFarms taking regarding COVID-19?
As we continue to monitor COVID-19 (coronavirus) developments, we want to emphasize the importance of taking care of ourselves, our loved ones, and our customers. As a food producing company, we believe we have a greater societal obligation to feed people particularly during these times of need when we see empty food shelves at the markets.
We want to take a moment to acknowledge the hero’s work that our selling partners are doing, staying open, and ensuring access to food and supplies. We join them with a resolute resolve to continue our farm operations to grow safely, locally, every day of the year.
We especially want to thank our team for their incredible commitment. Thank you, thank you, thank you – only begins to capture the gratitude we have for our team of over 165 people, all aligned with making a positive impact. We are very appreciative of how the team is balancing everything particularly on the home front with family and closed schools. We are proactively working on appropriate coverage strategies to ensure continuity of our farm.
As more information becomes available from the CDC, we will take all appropriate actions, and we wanted to provide you an update on all of the steps that we are already taking.
What We Know:
- COVID-19 is not considered to be a foodborne illness, and there is no evidence that it is transmitted through food according to the CDC.
- AeroFarms farms are audited for Good Agriculture Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices, and we have high levels of safety built into our indoor vertical farms with robust food safety standard operating procedures that includes our team members wearing personal protective equipment including hairnet, face cover, safety gloves and glasses, and overcoat. We have elaborate HVAC filtration systems in place with a MERV rating of 13.
- AeroFarms Team Members are on the Board of Directors for the Produce Marketing Association and the Controlled Environment Agriculture Food Safety Coalition, and we have open lines of communication with the FDA and CDC for the latest developments.
Action Items: In addition to our comprehensive food safety procedures, we have enhanced even further our daily activities by:
- Closing our facilities to only essential personnel.
- Reminding team members to stay home from work if they are sick.
- Evaluating every team member with an infrared thermometer before accessing our farm.
- Sending home any team member who is symptomatic.
- Implementing heightened sanitation practices that includes making sure surfaces and work areas are being sanitized multiple times every day.
- Installing additional hand sanitation stations.
- Reinforcing our existing training on effective handwashing and the use of personal protective equipment.
- Asking team members who have traveled to impacted areas to self-quarantine for 14 days.
- Promoting working from home where possible and limiting face-to-face meetings.
- Equipping our drivers with more sanitation supplies in addition to their practice of replacing their food safety gloves after each delivery.
- Automating Accounting including electronic payment and emailing of invoices.
- Ensuring our supply chain and farming inputs to be able to operate without any interruptions.
Our mission of “growing the best plants for the betterment of humanity” takes on even greater resonance in these times of change and uncertainty. What is unwavering is our deep commitment to maintaining a safe, working environment for our farms so we can continue to serve you, our community, with locally-grown produce.
Where to Buy Our Greens
Can I buy your greens for my restaurant?
Yes! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to work with you on an order.
Our Growing Method
Don’t plants need sun?
In fact, no. Plants don’t need sun, they need particular combinations of the sunlight’s spectrum – certain frequencies of light. By providing just the frequencies they need, using LED lights, the plant grows more efficiently. We also use spectrum to adjust aspects like color, flavor, and texture.
Don’t plants need soil?
They don’t actually. Plants need water and nutrients – which are traditionally stored and provided by soil. As commercial agriculture has strained to produce enough food for our growing population, and pesticide-use has increased, the soil has been taxed beyond what it can naturally reverse. Much of our arable land lacks essential nutrients and contains toxic substances. We grow our greens in a BPA-free, post-consumer recycled, reusable cloth. Below the cloth, we create a mist environment, containing the exact amounts of water and nutrients the plants need, when they need it. Then we filter and recirculate the water and nutrient solution. Above the cloth, the leaves stay completely clean. Our plants receive all the benefits of soil, with none of the risk.
Is this hydroponic?
No. Hydroponic growing is a popular form of indoor agriculture that involves submerging the roots in water. The term is often used to describe all indoor growing methods, but this is not accurate. We use our own unique Aeroponic method providing water to the roots in a mist, using 40% less water than hydroponic farms.
Why collect millions of data points on every harvest?
AeroFarms is a marriage of data science, engineering and biology. Even with exacting techniques and precise recipes for nutrients and light, biology introduces infinite variables. By monitoring every aspect of the plant at every moment, we can address the whims of biology in real time to make sure that our leafy greens are uniformly delicious and always up to our high standards.
Is our water used for growing safe?
Our potable water that we use for growing meets EPA guidelines (United States Environmental Protection Agency) and is safe for consumption. However, we take extra precautions. All incoming potable water is also treated by UV technology that eliminates bacteria and viruses that may cause water-borne illnesses. Additionally, we test our potable water for pathogens and heavy metals to ensure a safe water source.
How many acres of land is equivalent to one of your farms?
AeroFarms uses less than 1% of the land required by conventional growing to achieve the same harvest volume. That means we are over 390 times more land efficient than field farming annualized based on our vertical nature of growing and up to 30 harvests per year.
Can I have a tour?
We are not offering public tours right now in order to protect our carefully controlled growing environment.
Will you build a farm in my town?
Everyday we have tremendous demand from around the world about bringing a farm to a new market. We are busily working to develop additional farms. If you or your organization would like to help finance a farm and help speed up on our farm development process, please get in touch with us here.
Can I buy an AeroFarms system for personal use?
We are exclusively focused on large scale commercial farms so that we can help have a bigger impact on transforming agriculture around the world.
How to Support AeroFarms
Can I buy your stock?
Thank you, but we are a privately held company.
Can I invest in AeroFarms?
We are always looking for project farm partners. Please contact us here for more info.
Do you use genetically modified seeds (GMOs)?
No. We only work with trusted partners and never use genetically modified seeds.
Is your product organic?
Not yet. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the government body that oversees organic certifications, has been inconsistent in its evaluation of soilless methods of farming. We meet all criteria for organic certification. In fact, we go further by being more land and water efficient, and by using methods that do not contribute to any kind of dangerous run off.
Will you donate greens to my charity?
We love partnering with the community and supporting Newark, NJ area by making donations to local food pantries when possible.