Day 1: Thursday - June 29
Opening Plenary // Promoting CEA as a Critical Piece of the Food Security Puzzle
- How are CEA operators capitalising on the continued growth in demand for local, sustainable and reliable fresh produce?
- With increasing volatility in food supply chains, to what extent can indoor farming provide consistency to retailers and food service and reduce reliance on imports?
- Where are local and national governments playing an active role in promoting local food production and what can be done to encourage its growth?
- How can CEA play a role in reducing prices for fresh produce and improving access to nutrition in food deserts?
- To what extent are today’s energy prices hampering indoor farmers’ ability to maintain consistent and reliable production, and what does this mean for the future of this sector?
Marianna Koval, Director, INVEST NYC SDG INITIATIVE, USA
Qiana Mickie, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office for Urban Agriculture, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR’S OFFICE, USA
Deborah Koh, Director, Industry Development & Community Partnership, SINGAPORE FOOD AGENCY, SINGAPORE
Paul Sellew, Founder & CEO, LITTLE LEAF FARMS, USA
Panel // Communicating the Value of CEA to Consumers, Retailers and Restaurants
- What USPs are greenhouse growers and vertical farmers using to communicate the value of their produce to customers?
- How can growers work with retailers and food distributors to meet consumer demand and reach new niches and markets? What collaborations are we seeing?
Jessica Murphy, Vice President, S2G VENTURES, USA
Dave Vosburg, CIO, LOCAL BOUNTI, USA
Dorn Wenninger, SVP Produce, UNFI, USA
Josh Waters, SVP Produce Category Management, US FOODS, USA
Yan Branco, Head of Quality Control & Sourcing Director, SOBEYS, CANADA
Networking Coffee Break
Case Study Series // Innovative Solutions to the Energy Crisis
Two international growers will share insights into how they have reduced their energy costs and improved their environmental and economic sustainability. The floor will be opened for Q&A.
- How are growers forging partnerships with utilities and energy producers to source cheaper energy through off-peak tariffs?
- What success have we seen in procuring sustainable energy from renewable sources?
- How can growers reduce the cost of environmental controls by harnessing the power of geothermal energy and sunlight?
Julia Kurnik, Senior Director of Innovation Startups, WWF, USA
Steve Marafiote, CEO, SUNDROP FARMS, AUSTRALIA
Andreas Wilhelmsson, Chief Strategy Officer, LJUSGÅRDA, SWEDEN
Presentation // Transforming Vertical Farms with Intelligent and Efficient Electricity
- How is improved power distribution allowing vertical farms to cut their energy usage and build profitability?
Stephen Eaves, CEO, VOLTSERVER, USA
Panel // Addressing Energy Efficiency in the Wake of Rising Energy Costs
- How are growers and technology providers collaborating with utilities to improve energy efficiency, lower energy usage and improve CEA’s climate impact?
- How can new research into the impact of light spectra and intensity, in relation to other growing conditions, help reduce energy usage in the growth cycle?
- Where is the balance for growers between yield maximization and energy efficiency that will help build profitability for farms and set priorities for technology providers?
- Is there a business case for sharing and verifying data with third party organizations and competitors to work towards a more sustainable, transparent, and profitable sector?
Derek Smith, Executive Director, RESOURCE INNOVATION INSTITUTE, USA
Tisha Livingston, CEO, INFINITE ACRES, USA
Felicia Rhue Howard, VP Economic Development Strategy, DOMINION ENERGY, USA
Anthony Younan, Vertical Market Head, Industrial Americas, SIEMENS, USA
Marcus Whately, CEO, GROWUP FARMS, UK
Jordan Miles, CEO, AGNETIX, USA
Presentation // Lighting the Way to Profitability: LED Efficiency in CEA
Alessandro Oliveri, Co-Founder, IGROX, ITALY
Networking Lunch Break
Growers’ Panel // Aligning Growers and Engineers to Increase Yield and Quality
- How are sensors and artificial intelligence allowing faster and more effective development of seed genetics and growing methods for indoor growing?
- Where are today’s growers seeing most success in terms of lighting, environmental controls and growing media to improve the quality and productivity of indoor produce?
- What capabilities and considerations do the farmers themselves want to see in new equipment being developed for CEA?
- Where are the opportunities for engineers to work more closely with growers to ensure their products work alongside farming cycles to deliver optimum results?
Ian Potter, CEO & President, VINELAND RESEARCH & INNOVATION CENTRE, CANADA
Matt Lingard, SVP of Agriculture & Science, BRIGHTFARMS, USA
Mohammed Oufattole, CTO, REVOL GREENS, USA
Ellis Janssen, Global Director of City Farming, Philips Horticulture LED Solutions, PHILIPS LED LIGHTING, NETHERLANDS
Barry Murchie, CEO, GOODLEAF FARMS, CANADA
Jim Hole, Director of Product Science, PURE LIFE CARBON, CANADA
Panel // Sowing the Seeds of Growth: Perfecting Crop Genetics for Indoor Operations
- With pestilence and weather conditions removed from the equation, what is the potential for genetic improvements to transform the unit economics of indoor farming?
- Following the rapid expansion of tomato genetics for greenhouse growing, what other crops offer the greatest opportunity to be adapted for CEA?
- Using new tools, such as gene editing and AI modelling, how will the development of new, specialist seeds for greenhouses and vertical farms accelerate over the next decade?
- How will consumers react to gene-edited crops in a sector that prided itself on being better-than-organic?
Vonnie Estes, VP AgFood Tech Innovation, INTERNATIONAL FRESH PRODUCE ASSOCIATION, USA
Gretchen Raymond, Managing Director, RIJK ZWAAN, USA
David Nothmann, Chief Operating Officer, UNFOLD, USA
Ard van de Kreeke, CEO, GROWY, NETHERLANDS
Andy LaVigne, President & CEO, AMERICAN SEED TRADE ASSOCIATION, USA
Presentation // Working with Farmers to Apply Vertical Farming to Field Agriculture
- How is vertical farming technology being applied in conventional agriculture to improve the quality, quantity and consistency of yields?
- What is needed for vertical farming to become an integral part of the toolkit for the wider agriculture sector?
Steve Gereb, Head of Operations, IGS, USA
Networking Coffee Break
Four of the industry’s most exciting indoor agtech start-ups will each pitch their innovative solutions on stage, followed by an exploratory Q&A from our investor panellists.
Michael Rose, Partner, BETTER FOOD VENTURES, USA
Jessica Gómez, CEO & Founder, ORIGEEN, MEXICO
Danielle Rose, Co-Founder & CEO, CERAGEN, CANADA
Alberto Campanaro, Head of Plant Science, ZAYNDU, UK
Paul Rutten, Founder & CEO, CONCERT BIO, UK
Closing Panel // Finding Funding in a Challenging Economic Environment
- Now that capital is more expensive, what are investors looking for from indoor growers in order to commit their funds to a business?
- As high-tech indoor growers move to a more mature part of the food system, where will funding come from to enable its continued expansion?
- With more funding coming from private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors, how do the needs of these investors differ from VCs and impact funds?
- Following a difficult year for many vertical farms and high-tech greenhouses, what have investors learnt and how will they be changing their approach over the next year?
Gingee Prince, Chief Impact Officer & MD, ENHANCED CAPITAL, USA
Adam Bergman, Global Head of AgTech Investment Banking, CITI, USA
Maya Chorengel, Co-Managing Partner, THE RISE FUND, USA
Rajiv Singh, Co-Chair, FOODSHOT GLOBAL, USA
Nick Houshower, Managing Director, EQUILIBRIUM CAPITAL, USA
Networking Drinks Reception
Day 2: Friday - June 30
Opening Keynote Address: USDA's Definition of Agriculture is Broadening
Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary for Farm Production & Conservation, USDA, USA
Opening Plenary // Future Global Hotspots for High-Tech Indoor Farming
- In regions that struggle with food security and diversity of produce, how can CEA be implemented to help increase local supply and reduce the reliance on food imports?
- From a single ingredient to a whole meal, where can increased varieties of indoor crops have the greatest effect on international food security?
- Which regions are taking the lead in incentivising CEA for local food production and how can governments and regulators play a role in attracting companies to set up operations?
Sepehr Archard, CEO, IGROW NEWS, FRANCE
Daniele Modesto, CEO, ZERO VERTICAL FARMS, ITALY
Jay Desan, Co-Founder, BOOMGROW, MALAYSIA
Geraldo Maia, CEO, PINK FARMS, BRAZIL
Niko Kurumaa, COO, NETLED, FINLAND
Panel // Harnessing Public Private Partnerships to Build CEA Operations
- How can CEA growers partner with public sector organisations and private funders to help their expansion and build national footprints?
- What are the range of agreements, grants and funding models available to growers that can help with initial scaling costs and operational expenses?
- What is the incentive for public sector bodies to partner with indoor farms to make their states hotspots for indoor produce?
Chloe Sorvino, Food & Agriculture Staff Writer, FORBES, USA
Matthew Lohr, Secretary of Agriculture & Forestry, COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, USA
Dan Malech, SVP Strategy, PLENTY, USA
Josh Dorrell, CEO, WYOMING BUSINESS COUNCIL, USA
Networking Coffee Break
Fireside Chat // Growing Margins through New Product Innovation
- Which specialty crops and varieties are allowing vertical farms and high-tech greenhouses to access new customers and increase revenues?
- How can farmers build profitability through selling their produce as an ingredient, producing their own end-product or partnering with established food brands to increase revenues from their produce?
- For new crops being developed, how can growers build partnerships with buyers to ensure they are matching demand?
- How can CEA technology for plants be transferred to increase productivity in growing fungi and algae?
Christine Zimmermann-Lössl, Chairwoman, ASSOCIATION FOR VERTICAL FARMING, GERMANY
Andrew Carter, CEO, SMALLHOLD, USA
Daniele Benatoff, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, PLANET FARMS, ITALY
Tusya Garibashvili, Founder, SPACEFARMS, GEORGIA
Panel // Scaling CEA in a New Investment Landscape: Securing the Future of your Farm
- With mixed fortunes for growers in the sector, with closures and expansions filling the headlines, how have growers adapted their businesses, and business models, to continue supplying fresh produce?
- What are the crucial lessons from the past year that every grower in the sector, from start-up to supermarket staple, has to take forward into the future?
- What is the funding outlook for farms in today’s climate, what challenges do leading growers see persisting and where are the opportunities for growth emerging?
David Verbitsky, Managing Director, NOMURA GREENTECH, USA
Viraj Puri, Co-Founder & CEO, GOTHAM GREENS, USA
Jonathan Webb, CEO, APPHARVEST, USA
Guy Blanchard, President & CFO, AEROFARMS, USA
Philip Karp, President & Co-Founder, SOLI ORGANIC, USA
Each roundtable discussion group is hosted by an industry expert on a specific theme offering you a valuable opportunity to network, brainstorm solutions and discuss ideas. Come prepared for lively discussion and diverse debate!
- Connecting the Bots: Continual Improvement in Automation
Martin Helmich, CCO, HOOGENDOORN, NETHERLANDS
- Minimizing Food Bacterial Risks with Fully Automated Packaging
Joost Somford, CCO, JASA, USA
- Harnessing the Power of AI to Grow More Food, not Fake News
Kenneth Tran, CTO, KOIDRA, USA
- Innovating at the Intersection of Finance, Systems & People
Nona Yehia, CEO, VERTICAL HARVEST, USA
- Connecting Academics & Agribusinesses for Improved R&D
Stephanie Regagnon, Exec Dir of Innovation Partnerships, DONALD DANFORTH PLANT SCIENCE CENTER, USA
- Driving Profitability Through Improved Energy Usage
Alessandro Oliveri, CEO, IGROX, ITALY
- Sharing Cross-Sector Knowledge on Reducing Energy Costs
Nate Bender, Principal Investor, CONSTELLATION TECHNOLOGY VENTURES, USA
- Making the Costs Stack Up for Long-Term Viability
Cole Weber, Head of Sales for North America, IGS, USA
- Exploring the Intersection of Genetics and the Environment
Jade Stinson, Co-Founder, CEO & President, Amanda Lewis, R&D Horticulturalist, VINDARA, USA
- Reducing Emissions & Protecting Carbon Sinks
Ryan Rand, CEO, PURE LIFE CARBON, CANADA
- Strategies for Managing Energy Costs in Indoor Farming and Distribution
Halton Peters, CEO, HARDEE FRESH, USA
- Integrating CEA into Regional Environments
John Reich, Scientific Program Director, FFAR, USA
- Scaling CEA by Using the Right Funds in the Right Way
Marcus Whately, CEO, GROW UP FARMS, UK
- Reducing Labor Costs by Automating the Greenhouse
Michael Rose, Partner, BETTER FOOD VENTURES, USA
Networking Lunch Break
Panel // Accelerating Automation to Reduce Operational Costs and Increase Yields
- What stages of the growing process, from germination to cultivation, can be optimized through automation and robotics?
- With rising energy and labour costs, how should investments in automation be prioritized to maximize returns on investment?
- Should growers be focussing on developing automated solutions in-house or is outsourcing to a third party the more attractive option?
- How can automation and robotics be developed so that they can be integrated and upgraded into newer systems and allow for changes in the crops and varieties being grown?
Luc Lalire, Client Success Manager, AGRITECTURE, USA
Art van Rijn, Founder & President, ARTECHNO GROUP, NETHERLANDS
Bahram Rashti, CEO & Co-Founder, UP VERTICAL FARMS, CANADA
Justin Frankert, VP Robotics & Automation, BOWERY FARMING, USA
Adam Greenberg, CEO, IUNU, USA
Panel // Designing Facilities and Farming Systems to Support Profitable Businesses
- What are the lessons learnt from large-scale indoor farming operations and how are these informing the design of new CEA facilities?
- How can the same production standards be maintained when scaling up facilities and what are the most common challenges that growers face?
- How can facilities be future-proofed to accommodate changes in operational technologies such as robotics, lighting and HVAC?
- What are the critical success factors when locating a new facility? How important is it for farms to be integrated into existing distribution networks, and what successful examples have we seen of this?
Gretchen Schimelpfenig, Senior energy Engineer, ENERGY RESOURCES INTEGRATION, USA
Patrick Hidder, Principal, ARCO/MURRAY, USA
Rick Vanzura, CEO, FREIGHT FARMS, USA
Nona Yehia, Co-Founder & CEO, VERTICAL HARVEST, USA
Bas Duijvestijn, President Americas, VAN DER HOEVEN, USA
Rick Drescher, Corporate MD Technical Services, SAVILLS, USA
Crystal Ball Panel // What is the New Outlook for CEA After the Past Year?
- With recent weather patterns in California highlighting the urgency for a more resilient food supply system, how far away are we from high-tech indoor farming becoming a key part of leafy green supply in the US and Canada?
- When will vertical farm profitability stop being a question and what will be the next headline target for CEA operations?
- In scaling operations, opening new facilities and facility consolidation, how will operators continue to grow over the next few years?
- What is the outlook for indoor farming over the next year, five years, and ten years?
Glenn Behrman, Founder & President, CEA ADVISORS, USA
Tom Stenzel, Executive Director, CEA ALLIANCE, USA
Jesper Hansen, CCO, YESHEALTH, TAIWAN
Almuhanad Melhim, VP Fresh Produce, RABORESEARCH, USA