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Walmart invests in indoor vertical farming startup Plenty

by Associated Press | January 26, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
This undated photo provided by Walmart via Plenty, shows the Plenty Farms South San Francisco grow room. Plenty says its vertical towers can grow multiple crops on one platform with consistent flavor and deliver higher yields per acre compared to that of a field. Walmart said Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, it has taken a stake in agriculture startup Plenty, becoming the first large U.S. retailer to significantly invest in indoor vertical farming as a way to deliver fresher produce to its stores. (Spencer Lowell/Plenty/Courtesy of Walmart via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Walmart said Tuesday it has taken a stake in agriculture startup Plenty, becoming the first large U.S. retailer to significantly invest in indoor vertical farming as a way to deliver fresher produce to its stores.

Vertical farmers tout their high-quality produce that brings higher yields while using less water and land. The method also doesn't use pesticide, and the produce can be grown year round near the point of distribution, increasing the reliability of supply.

Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, declined to comment on the size of its investment or the financial terms of the deal. But the retailer based in Bentonville, Arkansas, said that it will join Plenty's board at the close of the transaction.

The deal comes as grocery stores are under pressure to have more environmentally friendly practices. Plenty, based in San Francisco, is one of many players in the fast-growing field of indoor farming. Others include Morehead, Kentucky-based AppHarvest, and New York-based Gotham Greens.

Plenty, which was founded in 2014 and has a vertical farm in South San Francisco, also operates an indoor plant science research facility in Laramie, Wyoming. It is now building in Compton, California, what it says will be the world's highest output vertical indoor farm, due to open in the second half of this year.

  photo  This undated photo provided by Walmart via Plenty, shows a Plenty Farms tower robot. Walmart said Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, it has taken a stake in agriculture startup Plenty, becoming the first large U.S. retailer to significantly invest in indoor vertical farming as a way to deliver fresher produce to its stores. (Spencer Lowell/Plenty/Courtesy of Walmart via AP)
 
 

Print Headline: Walmart invests in indoor vertical farming startup Plenty

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