Freight Farms and Sodexo have partnered to bring the most advanced hydroponic vertical farming technology to schools and universities across the country. The collaboration will usher in the implementation of Freight Farms' Greenery container farms to campuses across the U.S., enabling the onsite growth of fresh, traceable produce year-round that's pesticide and herbicide-free and sourced with zero food miles.
As awareness of key issues in food safety, health and wellness, and environmental sustainability continue to rise with increased urgency, this strategic partnership reflects Freight Farms' and Sodexo's shared vision to enable real, measurable change in food sourcing for educational and corporate institutions.
"Students, institutions, and corporate businesses want healthy, safe, and delicious food, and they want it sourced as sustainably as possible. Sodexo is proud to use and support the latest agricultural technology to create meaningful food system change, said Kenny Lipsman, Director of Produce Category for Sodexo. "Our partnership with Freight Farms allows us to grow nutritious, superior-quality food on-site for our clients, just steps from the kitchens and serveries. As part of Sodexo's Better Tomorrow Commitments, developed in accordance with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, this technology allows for traceability, reductions in food waste, and year-round crop consistency."
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Co-founder and CEO of Freight Farms Brad McNamara, continued, "Sodexo's commitment to offer onsite food production to its customers helps accelerate food system decentralization — leading the charge for better sourcing practices at an institutional level. Sodexo's adoption of Freight Farms on-site programming will demonstrate to their customers and client communities the positive impact hyper-local food production can have on priorities from nutrition and food safety to emissions reduction."
With the largest network of connected farms in the world, Freight Farms' customers are located in 25 countries and 44 U.S. states, and range from small business farmers to corporate, hospitality, retail, education, and nonprofit sectors. To date, 35 educational and corporate campuses use Freight Farms' technology, and together with Sodexo, implementation will rapidly expand across the U.S.
By integrating Freight Farms' 320 square foot Greenery onto campus, Sodexo's customers will reap numerous benefits, including:
Food miles and waste reduction
- Food is harvested steps from the plate, eliminating food miles
- Harvested onsite, food lasts significantly longer, reducing spoilage waste
- The Greenery uses 99.8% less water than traditional agriculture, and in some humid areas, operations can be water-positive
Peak freshness and nutrition, year-round
- Unlike food that has to travel great distances between harvest and plate, freshness and nutrient density does not degrade during transit
- Crops are never exposed to pesticides or herbicides
- The farms grow at commercial scale and maintain the perfect environmental conditions every day of the year
Safety, transparency, and data-driven traceability
- The hydroponic container farms are soil-free, a common carrier of E. coli, as well as decentralized from the mass supply chain
- Campus communities can get to know their own farmers and witness every growing stage of their food
- Proprietary IoT technology, farmhand, tracks produce from seed to plate, even down to the hour
Student and employee engagement
- Schools can choose to integrate their farms into interactive curricula across disciplines like science and technology, agriculture, nutrition, business, and social impact
- Corporate businesses can integrate their onsite farms into employee wellness and benefit programs