Ahead of Indoor AgTech in New York, Jason Green, CEO & Co-Founder at Upward Farms tells us more about the company’s next emerging crops, national and global expansion plans and the toughest challenges they are facing.

What are the next emerging crops or markets you plan to explore?
Today, indoor agriculture represents approximately 1.5% of US leafy greens retail sales. Upward Farms remains focused on expanding our leafy greens product offerings and geographic footprint to drive explosive category growth. Consumers should look forward to expanded packaged salad offerings across formats and occasions. In 2021, we also commercially launched our hybrid striped bass, bringing us beyond fresh produce and into the sustainable protein market. We will be launching the world’s largest vertical farm in 2023 and scaling up both our produce and protein offerings.

What are the biggest challenges you’re facing?
Consumers love our products and demand continues to outpace supply. Even as a rapidly growing business, our biggest challenge is to continue to scale up production while maintaining our uncompromising commitment to quality, safety, and sustainability. Upward Farms is the only USDA Certified Organic vertical farm among peers, which allows us to tap into strong consumer demand for organic offerings.

What does a successful roadmap to national and international expansion look like for you?
Upward Farms is currently constructing the world’s largest indoor vertical farm located in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Our new 250,000 square foot facility is expected to be up to 2-4x the size of the next largest vertical farm operated by peers. This farm will provide fresh, locally sourced, USDA Certified Organic microgreens and sustainably raised hybrid striped bass to consumers throughout the Northeast. Our strategy is to broaden our product and channel mix to drive increased household penetration while continuing to expand to new markets across the US in 2023 and beyond.

Where do you plan to be in the next 3-5 years?
Our five-year ambition is to become the #1 organic packaged salad brand behind category-defining elevated organic leafy greens offerings and consumer-driven innovation. Over the long-term, we intend to open up our platform to accelerate the world’s transition to regenerative agriculture and unlock a $100B+ opportunity. Our differentiated technology platform delivers a new level of sustainability, productivity, disease resistance, and safety by optimizing the plant microbiome — an approach we refer to as Ecological Intelligence. We see important applications of these technologies to the broad acre to address many of the challenges across climate, supply chain, and food security.

Connect with Jason in person at the Indoor AgTech Innovation Summit. He will take the stage to discuss ‘How Will the Industry Shape Up in 5-10 Years?’ during the Crystal Ball Session on June 24 at 3.35pm EST. 

For more details about Upward Farms, follow them Instagram and Twitter.