July 3, 2018

Millis farm to help build world's largest vertical farming facility in Dubai

Courtesy | Emirates Flight Catering
Saeed Mohammed, CEO of Emirates Flight Catering, and Sonia Lo, CEO of Crop One Holdings, after signing the joint venture agreement

The parent company of a Millis farm and Emirates airlines' catering group will partner on a $40-million vertical farming facility in Dubai.

The joint venture of Millis' FreshBox Farm and Emirates Flight Catering will be located near Al Maktoum International Airport in the United Arab Emirates and cover 130,000 square feet -- roughly three acres -- but produce the equivalent of 900 acres of farmland.

California-based Crop One Holdings, the parent of FreshBox Farms, is calling the vertical farm the world's largest.

"Our proven business model has demonstrated profitable commercial production longer than any other major vertical farmer," said Sonia Lo, CEO of Crop One Holdings. "We are farmers using the most sophisticated plant science and proven business efficiencies to provide market leading consumer products every day.

At full production, the facility will harvest three tons of herbicide-and-pesticide-free leafy greens daily while using 99 percent less water than outdoor fields.

Construction of the facility is expected to begin in November and is estimated to last about a year. The first products are expected to be delivered to Emirates Flight Catering customers in 2015 airlines and 25 airport lounges in December 2019.

Emirates Airlines is hailing the project as a continuation of its move to become more agriculturally self sufficient in its catering operation. Emirates Flight Catering CEO Saeed Mohammed said the company constantly looks at innovation, and ways to improve the company's product and quality.

"We are pleased to partner with Crop One, the industry's leading grower, packer and distributor, and a successful company that shares our corporate values," he said. "Together we look forward to delivering a best-in-class product and excellent value to our customers and stakeholders."

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