Gordon Food Service and Square Roots Reveal Location of First Urban Farm
BROOKLYN, NY and WYOMING, MI - Early this month, Gordon Food Service made headlines when the foodservice provider unveiled a new partnership with Square Roots and new plans to erect indoor farming campuses throughout North America. And this week the two partners announced the first location to serve locally-grown produce to Gordon Food Service’s network of foodservice partners—along with additional details about the site. The two companies will build their pilot in Gordon Food Service’s hometown of Wyoming, Michigan.
“This partnership brings together technology, agriculture, young farmers, and scalability, in a model that could revolutionize our food systems,” said Rich Wolowski, North American President and CEO of Gordon Food Service. “And it’s wonderful to be starting in our own backyard.”
According to a press release issued by the two companies, the partnership’s local, fresh produce offerings will be non-GMO, pesticide-free, and meet Gordon Food Service’s high quality and safety standards. Product will be available for purchase by both commercial chefs and consumers at Gordon Food Service’s area retail stores.
Construction and installation of the first container farm campus is expected to be completed by the fall of 2019, with growing operations beginning immediately thereafter.
Plans for the new campus include ten specially designed Square Roots shipping containers in direct production, with four additional containers providing operational support. Containers will occupy less than two acres of the Gordon Food Service HQ’s fifty-acre site, yet are projected to produce more than 50,000 lbs of herbs annually.
“This partnership means we will grow delicious, local, real food at huge scale,” said Tobias Peggs, Co-Founder and CEO of Square Roots. “We’re so happy to be working with a mission-aligned partner in Gordon Food Service—leveraging technology to bring real food to a huge number of people across the country, while delivering real social impact by empowering thousands of young people to become our country’s future farmers.”
The two companies also noted that Square Roots is expected to recruit and hire a class of new farmers to participate in its unique, year-long Next-Gen Farmer Training Program at the new Wyoming, Michigan farm campus. The recruitment process will start in early summer, and the program will begin in the fall. Interested applicants can find out more about the program on the Square Roots website and sign up for early access to applications here.
“Our community is proud to be home to an international business leader like Gordon Food Service and to support new, game-changing innovations in fresh, local food production and distribution,” Jack Poll, Mayor of the City of Wyoming, Michigan, noted.
The new campus is expected to function as a template for future farms, and the partnership plans to develop additional farms at or near Gordon Food Service’s U.S. and Canadian distribution centers.
Will Gordon Food Service’s pilot have transformative effects on the supply chain? AndNowUKnow will continue to report as the program expands.