Tim Steiner, chief executive officer of Ocado, said: "We believe that our investments today in vertical farming will allow us to address fundamental consumer concerns on freshness and sustainability and build on new technologies that will revolutionize the way customers access fresh produce.
Infinite Acres today announced that Ocado Group (LSE: OCDO), the world's largest dedicated online grocery retailer, has signed a memorandum of understanding to partner in a world-class, full-service solution for the challenges and opportunities confronting indoor horticulture and agriculture.
The independent joint venture also includes: Netherlands-based Priva Holding BV, a leading provider of technology solutions, services and automation systems to horticultural and other industries; and U.S.-based 80 Acres Farms, a leader in technology-assisted indoor growing and a multi-farm operator marketing a wide variety of freshly-harvested vegetables including vine crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers; leafy greens; and fruits such strawberries.
Infinite Acres' mission www.infinite-acres.com is to provide the best technology available to grow the highest quality produce near population centers throughout the world -- including in places where year-round nutritious produce is in short supply due to climate and growing conditions or must be transported considerably long distances. Ocado, based in the United Kingdom, brings to the partnership its Ocado Solutions division, a global technology provider known for innovative software and hardware systems, robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence.
"Our three partner companies provide an unbiased form of collaboration. From concept to consumers' tables, we bring a unique value proposition to this underserved marketplace," said Tisha Livingston, chief executive officer of Infinite Acres. "Infinite Acres believes its integrated solutions will have a considerable impact on the profitability, and competitiveness of food service industry customers everywhere -- growers, distributors, retailers, and governments - who seek the cleanest, healthy, pesticide-free produce for consumers. We look forward to collaborating with other strategic partners that have the same goals for the industry."
Tim Steiner, chief executive officer of Ocado, said: "We believe that our investments today in vertical farming will allow us to address fundamental consumer concerns on freshness and sustainability and build on new technologies that will revolutionize the way customers access fresh produce. Our hope ultimately is to co-locate vertical farms within or next to our Customer Fulfillment Centres and Ocado Zoom's micro-fulfillment centres so that we can offer the very freshest and most sustainable produce that could be delivered to a customers' kitchen within an hour of it being picked."
Meiny Prins, chief executive officer of Priva, said: "Cities are beginning to realize that they need to integrate the production of food into their plans for urban development, to be able to provide healthy and nutritious food for their inhabitants. Infinite Acres provides solutions that support overcoming the challenges of growing fresh produce in an urbanizing world by bringing it closer to its consumers."
Mike Zelkind, chief executive of 80 Acres Farms, said: "This is an amazing combination of best of breed companies. Priva and 80 Acres Farms provide extensive horticulture, engineering, operational, and food industry expertise. Along with Ocado's predictive analytics, automation and comprehensive system development, the partnership will provide its customers with everything from state of the art facilities with uniquely developed crop recipes and the right unit economics to an option for facility management with yield guarantees, product packaging, branding, marketing, and distribution. 80 Acres Farms will offer these options for customers seeking an operating partner."
Infinite Acres will have a stand located at 08.442VF at this week's GreenTech Amsterdam.
Ocado is a U.K. based company admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: OCDO). It comprises one of the world's largest dedicated online grocery retailers, operating its own grocery and general merchandise retail businesses under Ocado.com and other specialist shop banners, together with its Ocado Solutions division. Ocado Solutions is responsible for corporate partnerships, providing the Ocado Smart Platform (OSP) as a service to retailers around the world. OSP comprises access to Ocado's physical infrastructure solutions, running highly efficient warehouse operations for the single pick of products, together with the entire end-to-end proprietary software applications required to operate a world class online grocery business. For more information, visit www.ocado.com.
About 80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms is focused on being the best operator in the world of indoor farming facilities that achieve the highest quality and consistency of year-round produce. Its extensive produce growing, food manufacturing, marketing and distribution experience, and mastery of automation drives continuous high-quality production and operational efficiency leading to improved unit economics. Utilizing state of the art proprietary technologies, including modular grow zones, customized LED lighting, precisely-tuned climate controls, and an artificial intelligence powered growing system, the Company is able to offer customers flavorful, and nutritious locally grown fruits and vegetables at affordable prices. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, the company was founded by veteran food industry executives Mike Zelkind and Tisha Livingston who are supported by a deep team and a board of directors representing executive and leadership experience at leading food, healthcare, and other companies. For more information, visit www.80acresfarms.com.
Priva is a high-tech company that develops hardware, software and services in the field of climate control, energy saving and optimal reuse of water. Priva's market covers the fields of horticulture, indoor and city farming, and utility buildings such as offices, retail, hotels and hospitals. With nearly 500 colleagues, 16 local offices in 13 countries, and more than 450 international installation partners, Priva delivers sustainable solutions and services in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit www.priva.com.