NEW YORK — Bowery Farming, one of the largest vertical farming company in the U.S., opened its largest, most technologically advanced and sustainable commercial smart farm in Bethlehem, Pa. Transforming a former Bethlehem brownfield from a non-arable industrial site into modern farmland, the company's newest commercial farm lays the groundwork for the next chapter in climate-smart agriculture, it said.
The Bethlehem farm features technological advancements and pioneering sustainability initiatives and is the key to accelerating expansion of the company's network of farms across the U.S. With this blueprint, Bowery has created a replicable system to grow food wherever and whenever it is needed as it continues its impressive growth trajectory, the company said.
"If we've learned anything from the past two years, it is that we are in a period of unprecedented disruption and uncertainty across our climate and geopolitical circumstances, which unfortunately is going to persist. We are also seeing firsthand that our global food system is inextricably tied to these dynamics," said Irving Fain, founder and CEO, Bowery Farming. "At Bowery, wherever food is needed, we can grow it. We are addressing the challenges in our system by growing food smarter for more people in more places — and that work, securing food for our future, continues today with the opening of our Bethlehem Farm."
Bowery's Bethlehem farm is powered with 100% renewable energy and features 15% more efficient LED lighting. A state-of-the-art water recapture and filtration system has been custom-built to harness even the water that is transpired from the plants, and ensure the highest-quality food safety standards. The BoweryOS, combined with proprietary farm design, custom hardware, AI, data and robotics, has increased the speed of farm operations and processing allowing the company to continue to grow more food smarter. Critically, these learnings will be applied across Bowery's network of farms in the future.
Bowery's Bethlehem farm will bring fresh produce to a population of 50 million people within a 200-mile radius of the farm via regional retail customers including Whole Foods Market, Giant of Landover and Albertsons Companies' stores, as well as e-commerce partners such as Amazon Fresh. Working with local distributors, including Four Seasons Produce, Bowery produce will be available to specialty and independent grocery partners throughout the region, like local grocer Gerrity's in Bethlehem.
"In addition to bringing at least 70 jobs to Bethlehem, Bowery Farming is innovating to feed the future and fight food insecurity. This project is a win for agriculture and a win for Pennsylvanians," said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. "I'm proud to have invested in Bowery to help them set roots in the commonwealth and grow a sustainable, food-secure future for us all."