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Ultra-productive urban greenhouse planned


June 13, 2014
By Dave Harrison

June 13, 2014, Washington, D.C. — BrightFarms has signed a lease with
the District of Columbia’s Department of General Services (DGS) to
develop what’s being described as the world’s most productive urban
farm.

June 13, 2014, Washington, D.C. — BrightFarms has signed a lease with the District of Columbia’s Department of General Services (DGS) to develop what’s being described as the world’s most productive urban farm.

DGS manages and maintains 26 million square feet of space across the city, overseeing all construction, maintenance and real estate functions and strategically chose the location in Ward 8 to meet the needs of the urban greenhouse.

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BrightFarms is a leading urban agriculture company in the U.S.

“This is a great example of leveraging the District’s assets to make the most of our real estate portfolio in a dynamic way that produces results which reverberate across the city,” said DGS director Brian J. Hanlon.

The partnership between DGS and BrightFarms is in support of a larger effort set forth in the Mayor’s vision for a Sustainable DC and the Department of General Services’ Energy and Sustainability division’s plan to reduce energy consumption and decrease the carbon footprint across the District.

LOCALLY GROWN FOCUS

By growing locally, BrightFarms delivers produce that is thousands of miles fresher, more flavourful and better for the community.

“As the District aggressively confronts the climate crisis, I believe we have to fundamentally redefine our relationship with food: how it’s produced, how it gets to our table, and how we create a resource out of what’s leftover,” said Mark Chambers, interim associate director of Energy and Sustainability at DGS.

The farm also creates 20 full-time, green-collar jobs, facilitates over 100 construction jobs and prevents stormwater from going into local waterways.

The greenhouse will be designed and built in partnership with the City’s Department of General Services and the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation.

EARLIER WASHINGTON PROJECT

Earlier this year BrightFarms entered into an agreement with the grocer Giant Food who will be the exclusive retailer in the nation’s capital region of BrightFarms’ year round local produce.

Under that agreement, BrightFarms is responsible for financing, building and operating the greenhouse while Giant Food distributes the produce to its stores.

The two companies will also work together to distribute produce from the greenhouse to local community organizations that can supply residents who otherwise lack access to fresh produce.

“This greenhouse will be the world’s highest grossing urban farm,” said BrightFarms CEO Paul Lightfoot, “and it will also have one of the greatest positive social impacts.”

ABOUT BRIGHTFARMS

BrightFarms grows local produce, nationwide. By financing, building, and operating local greenhouse farms, it eliminates time, distance, and costs from the food supply chain.

Click here for earlier background report on company's progress.
 
Borrowing from the highly successful renewable energy industry, BrightFarms signs long-term purchase agreements with supermarkets that feature fixed prices and minimum volume commitments.

Its growing method uses far less land and water than conventional agriculture, and its urban locations create local green jobs and help to bring healthy, fresh produce to neighborhoods.

Its partnerships with supermarkets, cities, capital sources, and vendors allow it to develop markets and projects faster and better than any competitor.


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