Compass Group Expands Indoor Farms at Foodservice Locations Nationwide Through Exclusive Partnership with Farmshelf
New Strategic Partnership and Investment with Farmshelf Expands Commitment to Sustainability and Elevates Dining Experience with Produce Grown Onsite, Year Round
Charlotte, N.C., February 22, 2022— The concept of locally grown produce will take on
foodservice locations nationwide. Through a new strategic partnership with Farmshelf,
a manufacturer of indoor hydroponic farms for businesses and homes, Compass Group
will soon grow more produce on site that will be served to guests in higher education,
K12 schools, businesses, healthcare facilities and event venues.
"Our new partnership with Farmshelf builds on the success we've had working with
them for several years, taking what was originally found in some of the finest dining
establishments in the country and making it accessible to millions of students
nationwide," said Gary Snyder, CEO, Compass Education. "Beyond the powerful
educational and dining opportunities that come from harvesting produce directly from
these tech-enabled farms, they further reduce our environmental footprint and support
our client partner's reduced or net zero carbon goals."
At Compass Group locations, the implementation of Farmshelf's bookcase-sized smart
indoor farms have the potential to annually reduce up to 15,000 pounds of food waste,
save 600,000 gallons of water and eliminate single-use packaging traditionally used in
"Everything we do at Farmshelf is focused on empowering people to grow the best
tasting and most nutritious food possible and there's no better partner than Compass
Group to help us spread our mission exponentially," said Andrew Shearer, CEO of
Farmshelf. "Whether it's a young student learning how lettuce in their salad grows from
seeds planted in their cafeteria farm, or a diner watching their chef snip fresh herbs
moments before they eat their meal, we're working together to make a difference at
mealtime and for the environment."
Each Farmshelf has the ability to produce hundreds of pounds of leafy-greens and
herbs annually, growing two-to-three times faster and using 90 percent less water than
traditional farming. Chefs at each location are able to pick from more than 30 foods to
grow, including kale and arugula as well as flavorful herbs such as chives and the
increasingly popular za'atar. Recommended rotation schedules keep produce and
herbs growing and harvesting at all times. The farms also use smart technology that
allow Compass Group chefs and foodservice operations teams to monitor crops via
internal growing cameras.
Compass Group plans to bring guests in on the indoor farming experience inviting them
to touch, feel, see and participate in the growing process. As an example, higher
education students studying agriculture or sustainability are invited to apply for
internships to be campus farmers, learning about hydroponics and operating the farms.
School children are also able to watch their food grow from seed to harvest, infusing
hands-on learning into both their cafeterias and curriculums.
"Our chefs and dietitians have been experimenting with new ways to create innovative
plant-based menus using fresh, local produce," said Lisa McEuen, CEO of Chartwells
Higher Education. "It's clear more and more students are looking for plant-based
options because of taste preferences, health concerns, or sustainability efforts and for
the past several years, Farmshelf has helped us increase our share of herbs and
vegetables grown directly onsite."
About Compass Group
Compass Group is redefining the food and support services landscape with innovation and
passion through the lens of what's next. Serving premier healthcare systems, respected
educational institutions, world-renowned cultural centers, popular sporting and entertainment
venues, and Fortune 500 organizations the world over, Compass Group always finds a way to
deliver excellence in nearly any vertical. Whether it's serving school meals students love, high
end concessions in stadiums, or innovative, nutritionally balanced meals for seniors, Compass is
an industry leader. Ranked No. 1 by industry peers on Fortune's 2021 list of World's Most Admired Companies, Compass has also earned a spot on Forbes' list of the Best Employers for Diversity, Best Employers for New Grads and Best Employers for Women in 2021. Compass Group is among the Top 50 Companies Changing the World according to Fortune.
For four years, some of the world's best chefs and operators have been growing with Farmshelf,
showcasing their commitment to sustainability, the ultimate in freshness and unbelievable flavor.
By partnering with chefs Jose Andres and Marcus Samuelsson, flavor and varieties have been
created to delight both culinarians and their guests. The bookcase-sized smart indoor farms are
powerful enough to provide pounds of fresh produce every week, growing food 2-3 times faster
than conventional farming, using 90 percent less water. By enabling users to harvest just what's
needed, Farmshelf eliminates packaging and food waste, and by growing from seed in a
sealed and controlled environment, Farmshelf limits points of contamination to ensure food