Eden Green Technologies will build a network of greenhouses across the country to scale commercial production and meet rising demand for its indoor-grown leafy greens, the vertical farming company said Tuesday.
The company plans to build 20 production facilities over the next five years, according to an announcement. Eden Green broke ground on a $40 million expansion of its campus in Cleburne, Texas this month, adding two greenhouses expected to be ready by early 2025.
The Dallas-based company also hired Will Parkey as chief financial officer to drive the next phase of development. Parkey previously held C-suite roles at a Texas whiskey distillery and at one of the largest operators of T-Mobile retail stores.
Despite financial woes across the vertical farming industry earlier this year, a number of startups have remained resilient and are positioning themselves for continued growth.
Eden Green said its hybrid approach to controlled environmental agriculture — combining vertical farming within a greenhouse to increase yield and improve efficiency — differentiates itself from others in the competitive space. The approach uses 95% less electricity than other indoor farms. This allows Eden Green to pass the savings on to customers and price its lettuce $2 less than competing products, the company said.
Eden Green facilities are located within a mile of major distribution retailers and is a supplier of more than 2 million pounds of produce a year to retailers such as Walmart.
The startup has hired an experienced, new CFO to guide growth initiatives and help the company dramatically increase production.
“Bringing on an executive with such deep experience in strategic growth, while simultaneously expanding our capacity, will dramatically accelerate our ability to deliver accessible, delicious produce to the average consumer,” Eddy Badrina, chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Parkey has more than ten years of financial management experience, holding executive roles at Amtel, a T-Mobile retail store operator, and Firestone & Robertson Distilling Company. He played a critical role in executing mergers and acquisitions at his previous stops. Prior to being an executive, he worked in private equity and investment banking.
“Eden Green has combined proprietary technology with a unique distribution model to create a strong foundation for rapid growth within this emerging space. As the company enters this new phase, I look forward to driving strategic development and helping advance Eden Green’s incredible mission,” Parkey said in a statement.
Some of the biggest players in the indoor farming sector are working to turn themselves around following lackluster investor funding and other production hurdles. Aerofarms, who filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection over the summer, emerged last month with an investor-backed plan and a new CEO to drive scalability. AppHarvest, which also filed for bankruptcy, has plans to turn things around in the near future.
“This is an exciting time to join Eden Green. Controlled environment agriculture is beginning to find its footing,” Parkey said.