Walmart announced that it signed an agreement to invest in Plenty, an indoor vertical farming company headquartered in San Francisco. Beginning later this year, Walmart will start sourcing leafy greens from Plenty’s new vertical farm in Compton for all its California stores.

Walmart is the first large U.S. retailer to significantly invest in vertical farming.

Together, Walmart and Plenty will work collaboratively to create a new, market leading product category in vertical farming by delivering freshness and quality year-round.

Plenty uses proprietary vertical farming systems combining engineering, software and sustainable crop science to grow pesticide-free food at higher yields that require less water and land. The produce can be grown year-round in controlled environments, close to the point of consumption and distribution, increasing surety of supply.

Importantly, this practice supplements, not replaces, traditional farming practices to help increase food supply and helps alleviate current challenges on the food system in a sustainable way.

This investment is an important step as Walmart continues to reimagine food solutions that sustain and nourish people, the planet and  Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG).

“This partnership not only accelerates agricultural innovation, but reinforces our commitment to sustainability, by delivering a new category of fresh that is good for people and the planet,” said Charles Redfield, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S.

Plenty’s indoor farming architecture differs from greenhouses and other indoor farms, combining engineering, software and sustainable crop science to grow multiple crops on one platform, at unprecedented speed. By building their farms closer to the consumer, Plenty helps reduce transportation and food waste, keeping items fresher for longer in 100 percent recyclable product packaging.

“Plenty’s unique farming system unlocks industry-leading crop versatility and unit economics by enabling indoor growing year round,” said Arama Kukutai, Plenty CEO. “Our farms can be sited anywhere allowing us to put fresh fruits, greens and vegetables on shelf at all times, at speed, for maximum freshness. As a long-time market leader in retail innovation, Walmart is an ideal partner to test and scale access to our quality produce for their customers. This is a game-changer for the agritech industry.”

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