US Foods Partners With Kalera® to Expand Sustainable Fresh Produce Portfolio; Josh Waters and Curtis McWilliams Share
ROSEMONT, IL - A strategic partnership was struck between US Foods and Kalera®, a hydroponic indoor vertical farming company. This partnership marks US Foods’ largest vertical farming relationship to date.
“Our agreement with Kalera will fundamentally change the manner in which vertical farmed products are made available to restaurants and other foodservice operators across our footprint,” said Josh Waters, Senior Vice President of Produce Category Management for US Foods. “We are energized by the high-quality, sustainably grown, year-round offerings that will be available to US Foods customers in partnership with Kalera, and we look forward to continuing to grow our produce portfolio and partnering on new product offerings in the future.”
This partnership agreement underscores US Foods’ commitment to bringing foodservice operators a broad assortment of high-quality produce year-round. With Kalera on board, the grower will also expand the portfolio of local farms that US Foods sources from in various markets in support of its growing Serve Local program.
As part of the agreement, Kalera and its wholly owned seed technology business Vindara will work closely with US Foods to develop and launch new products to US Foods customers in markets across the country.
“US Foods and Kalera are helping to bring the future of farming to the foodservice industry today,” said Curtis McWilliams, Chairman-Elect and former Chief Executive Officer of Kalera. “This relationship will help set a precedent for the foodservice industry by providing customers with accessible fresh produce all year-round thanks to US Foods.”
According to the release, Kalera’s innovative indoor farms use clean room technology, advanced proprietary equipment, and plant and seed science to provide a wide range of high-quality greens such as whole head lettuce, salad mix blends, microgreens, burger leaf toppers, and arugula with less water compared to traditional field farming.
For Kalera, the partnership represents an opportunity to allocate up to 50 percent of its United States production capacity to the restaurant and foodservice industry.
How will US Foods and the foodservice industry continue to evolve alongside fresh produce? ANUK will update with the latest.