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Published in Food/Agribusiness
Square Roots, GFS partner on new Wisconsin indoor farming operation COURTESY PHOTO

Square Roots, GFS partner on new Wisconsin indoor farming operation

BY Wednesday, January 26, 2022 04:29pm

Indoor farming operation Square Roots Urban Growers and Gordon Food Service Inc. are partnering to create a new farm in Kenosha, Wis.

Square Roots — a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based, technology-focused food producer — has an existing relationship with Wyoming-based food distributor Gordon Food Service. The two companies signed a strategic partnership in 2016, and Square Roots has built two farms at the GFS headquarters.

Since announcing the partnership, both companies have signaled that they intend to build farms across the country to more effectively serve clients.

The new venture is a step toward bringing that plan to fruition. Like the existing operations, the new farm will be built from upcycled shipping containers equipped with smart technology that is used to grow herbs, leafy greens and salad mixes. The new venture will be used to serve customers in the Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan areas.

With a capacity to produce more than 2.4 million packages of herbs and leafy greens each year, the new farm is poised to be Square Roots’ largest one yet.

“This new farm in Kenosha also accelerates our shared vision to build indoor farms together across the continent,” Rich Wolowski, CEO of Gordon Food Service, said in a statement. “Together with Square Roots, Gordon Food Service is enabling local food at a global scale, meeting increased demand for produce that is fresher, responsibly grown, and traceable from seed to shelf.”

The indoor farms use advanced technology to minimize the use of resources while growing a crop all year round. This includes a software-controlled hydroponic growing system that uses 95-percent less water than traditional field farms.

Square Roots estimated that it will produce its first harvest in the spring of 2022.

“Our partnership with Gordon Food Service, combined with our modular, smart-farm platform, means we can rapidly deploy new indoor farms in strategically located cities like Kenosha,” said Square Roots CEO Tobias Peggs, who co-founded the company with Kimbal Musk, the brother of tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.

“We are also able to create exciting jobs in the community, while making locally-grown food available, all year round, to new consumers in nearby Chicago and Milwaukee, significantly expanding our reach in the Midwest.”

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