Q & A With AeroFarms CEO David Rosenberg
ROSENBERG KICKS OFF INDOOR AG-CON 2021 WITH OPENING MORNING KEYNOTE ADDRESS
AeroFarms has been making a lot of headlines of late. In addition to last month’s announcement that it will become a publicly traded company through combination with Spring Valley Aquisition Corp, AeroFarms has broken ground on the world’s largest and most technologically advanced aeroponic indoor vertical farm and launched a new brand identity. What’s more, Indoor Ag-Con is excited to announce that AeroFarms CEO David Rosenberg will headline Indoor Ag-Con, as he leads the opening morning keynote address for the 8th annual edition scheduled for October 4-5, 2021 at the Hilton Orlando, Florida.
Ahead of our October 2021 in-person event, Indoor Ag-Con Content Chair Jim Pantaleo had the opportunity to talk with David about his company’s exciting developments and plans for the future.
David, thanks for sitting down with me today. Obviously, the big news at AeroFarms is the recent merger with Spring Valley Acquisition Corp…Can you speak to this exciting new collaboration?
We are thrilled to announce our merger with Spring Valley Acquisition Corp, who shares the same ESG philosophies to make a positive impact on the world, while serving the interests of our shareholders. AeroFarms’ mission is to grow the best plants possible for the betterment of humanity, and we are executing on this by taking agriculture to new heights with the latest in technology, innovation and understanding of plant science.
Our technology empowers our operations – this is how we get closer to where the problems, opportunities and solutions are. We also have the capabilities to innovate fast by turning our crops a typical 26 times per year that allows us to continuously learn and improve yield and quality while simultaneously reducing capital and operating costs. Our business is at an inflection point where we will scale up our proven operational framework and begin our expansion plans in earnest as we have shared with recent farm news for Danville Virginia and Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The other piece of interesting AeroFarms news is the expansion to Danville, VA. Please share how you envision that facility in terms of AeroFarms technology to be deployed. And, what impact do you foresee the operation having not only for AeroFarms but also for the local community?
The science, technology and innovation that underpin our proprietary growing platform allow us to drive superior unit economics and scale up our business to deliver on our mission of growing the best plants possible for the betterment of humanity. Our customers love our leafy greens, which consistently win on quality, flavor, taste and texture. We are excited to break ground on our new farm, expand our retail presence in the region and bring our exceptional, great tasting products to more customers. Danville-Pittsylvania County is the perfect location to introduce our next-generation Model 5 farm that will be able to serve the more than 1,000 food retailers in the region.
Our new farm will deepen our established retailer partnerships even further and make our sustainably grown, pesticide-free and always fresh leafy greens available throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, while also creating high-quality jobs in the area. This new facility represents an inflection point in our growth trajectory as we scale our technology and expand our retail distribution footprint and customer reach.
Speaking of expansion, please tell us how Abu Dhabi is progressing and the great (R&D) work which will come from there once fully operational?
This new cutting-edge R&D facility leverages our agriculture expertise and science-driven roots. We will be conducting leading research in plant science, vertical farming, and automation, accelerating innovation cycles and commercializing a diverse range of products. We will be partnering with major international companies, local universities, and AgTech startups to help solve some of the most pressing agriculture needs of our time, and AeroFarms is proud to play a pivotal role to helping establish the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as a global hub for AgTech innovation
What does David Rosenberg do for fun when he’s not leading one of the world’s most dynamic and innovative indoor vertical farms?
I am proud to serve as a Managing Trustee of New Jersey’s Liberty Science Center and a mentor at Endeavor, to help impact entrepreneurs succeed. In addition, I enjoy SUP paddle boarding and spending time with my family.
AeroFarms has been leading the way for indoor vertical farming and championing transformational innovation for agriculture overall. On a mission to grow the best plants possible for the betterment of humanity, AeroFarms is a Certified B Corp Company with global headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, United States. Named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company three years in a row and one of TIME’s Best Inventions, AeroFarms patented, award-winning indoor vertical farming technology provides the perfect conditions for healthy plants to thrive, taking agriculture to a new level of precision, food safety, and productivity while using up to 95% less water and no pesticides vs. traditional field farming. Grown for flavor first, AeroFarms enables local production to safely grow flavorful baby greens and microgreens all year round.