Square Roots teams up with UNFI to expand access to locally-grown leafy greens

Scheduled to open in 2023, the new 20,000-square-foot Square Roots farm will be able to produce up to three million retail packages of salad mixes, microgreens, and herbs per year, serving retailers and consumers in the Twin Cities metro areas in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The new farm will look similar to Square Roots other indoor farming locations throughout the Midwest, using the company’s same ultra-efficient hydroponic system, which uses significantly less water and land than conventional field farms. Inside its farms, Square Roots’ farmers use the company’s proprietary software to manage every aspect of growing, from planning production tasks to monitoring plant health.

“In essence, we’ll have grow zones where the plants are growing. Inside there you have controlled climates that are optimized for the plant growth and there’ll be additional infrastructure on site that provides all the additional space that you need to run a food-safe and people-safe commercial scale operation (i.e. packing rooms. cold storage, bio-security),”​ Square Roots CEO Tobias Peggs told FoodNavigator-USA. 

“The whole thing soup-to-nuts will be monitored and operated in part with the Square Roots operating systems software that we built. The whole idea really is through a combination of that hardware and software and then workflows through which you train the farmers is that we’re able to get almost manufacturing-like levels of predictability and consistency out of this farm.”

The agreement with UNFI includes plans for additional farms located on-site at other select UNFI distribution centers.

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