Belvidere-based Edible Garden is moving closer to officially opening its new, 5-acre greenhouse in Grand Rapids, Mich.
In a March 29 press release, the company said it completed the phase two buildout of Edible Garden Heartland and received all necessary certifications for the controlled environment agriculture (CEA) facility.
Jim Kras, Edible Garden chief executive officer, said the site was awarded its U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic Certification, as well as the Indoor Agriculture Certificate and Harvest Crew Certificate.
Edible Garden also received a Packinghouse/HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) Certificate through PrimusGFS, which runs an audit certification program that is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) for its expertise in ensuring food safety in the fresh produce industry.
“These certifications were obtained with high scores, further validating Edible Garden’s Zero-Waste Inspired mission to deliver fresh produce that is sustainably grown to its customers,” said Kras, who has said the site could support up to $20 million in annualized revenue.
“When the Edible Garden Heartland facility launches, we expect to be able to fulfill the demands of our largest Midwest client, Meijer, and other significant big-box retailers in the region who are eager to strengthen their ties with the company,” the CEO said. “Furthermore, we aim to expand our distribution network in the Midwest by engaging new distribution partners that we were previously unable to serve.”
According to Kras, the state-of-the-art facility will include technologies such as a cloud-based greenhouse management and demand planning system.
Mike Sudbury, the site’s general manager, said, “We have a dedicated team in Grand Rapids who worked tirelessly to get us up and running quickly after purchasing the facility in August. We can’t wait to officially launch and share our passion with the community in the near future.”
A spokesperson for Edible Garden said an official launch date has not been set for Heartland.
Founded in 2015, the company’s locally grown, sustainable lettuce, organic herbs, hydro basil, salad kits and protein powders can be found at more than 4,000 stores, including ShopRite, Weis Markets, Meijer, King Kullen, Gristedes and D’Agostino.l