BrightFarms Acquired by Partner Cox Enterprises; Steve Platt and Steve Bradley Comment
ATLANTA, GA - As we’ve seen, indoor agriculture as a sector is on the rise, with the playing field becoming increasingly more competitive. To sharpen its edge, BrightFarms has made a strategic play, announcing its acquisition by Cox Enterprises. Through the deal, BrightFarms will strengthen its leadership in the indoor farming space while creating an even more stable foundation for accelerated growth.
"BrightFarms has built the most advanced network of local indoor farms in the nation. Being part of the Cox team will allow us to scale more rapidly, transforming the salad industry for American consumers,” said Steve Platt, Chief Executive Officer of BrightFarms. "As we embark on this new chapter, the BrightFarms team extends gratitude to our Founder, Paul Lightfoot, for his bold vision and to Catalyst Investors for their early and unwavering support."
The partnership between BrightFarms and Cox began in 2018, with Cox holding a majority stake in the indoor farming business since 2020, according to a press release. To date, Cox has invested over $1 billion in sustainable businesses and technologies, and this recent acquisition aligns with the company’s mission to build a more sustainable future as well as create a multibillion-dollar cleantech business by 2030.
With its extensive market experience, BrightFarms plans to utilize its relationships with retailers to bring indoor leafy greens to more than two thirds of the population by 2025. As part of this plan, the company plans to build a national network of new high-tech farms that will boost the speed of the salad industry’s transition to indoor farming. BrightFarms will also increase investment in talent, research, and innovation as it grows its product portfolio within the salad category and beyond.
“BrightFarms is a perfect example of our Cox Cleantech strategy— positively impacting the world through profitable, mission-driven businesses,” said Steve Bradley, Vice President of Cleantech for Cox Enterprises. “Over the years, our enthusiasm for BrightFarms and the opportunity to transform the industry has increased tremendously, which led us to want to play a larger role in what they're doing.”
Currently, BrightFarms operates five farms in Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Illinois. In July, BrightFarms also acquired lēf Farms, an indoor grower based in Loudon, New Hampshire. The company plans to expand lēf’s facility into a 14-acre indoor growing hub for New England retailers.
While many salads are grown in California and other states and then shipped across the country, BrightFarms grows and delivers its greens to supermarkets as soon as 24 hours from harvest. As the growing drought in the Western part of the country continues, the company’s sustainable hydroponic indoor farms yield 10 times more leafy greens per acre than growing in a field and use 80 percent less water, 90 percent less land, and 95 percent less shipping fuel than long-distance field-grown produce.
How will this acquisition drive BrightFarms’ growth in the indoor agriculture sector? Stick with AndNowUKnow to find out.