By Opportunity Zone Magazine Staff
Crop One Holdings, a vertical farm operator, will sponsor its first qualified opportunity fund in an Opportunity Zone. The Vertical Farm Opportunity Fund will invest in building and operating a new vertical farm in Texas that will be located in a qualified Opportunity Zone in the Austin-San Antonio corridor.
“The Vertical Farm Opportunity Fund is an opportunity to invest in the future of agriculture and community development,” says Sonia Lo, CEO of Crop One. “This fund will positively impact local economies by creating new technology jobs, while addressing the lack of access to affordable, pesticide-free and non-GMO foods in underserved communities.”
Vertical farming produces crops indoors with pesticide-free, optimal growing conditions. The company says it plans to locate several of their future farms in Opportunity Zones that have potential for farm-to-table distribution, in areas ranging from rural to urban settings. These farms operate under a controlled environment of temperature, humidity, light, water and plant nutrients.
“The solution to feeding the world’s growing population is complex, requiring a combination of technology and plant science. Crop One’s farms are flexible, scalable, and designed to grow quality, delicious and nutritious, high-volume crops year-round,” says Lo.
By constructing farms as close to the point of consumption as possible, Lo says the company is not only growing produce more efficiently, but also “limiting carbon emissions from food transportation and radically diminishing food waste by ensuring product is delivered within 24 hours of harvest.”
Crop One will be raising capital under a Regulation D 506(c) offering for the development of the Farm’s facilities and to fund business operations. In its first phase, the farm is anticipated to create 75 jobs and will use 99 percent less water compared to conventional farming, says Deane Falcone, Crop One chief science officer, in a statement.
“Our products are pesticide-free, non-GMO, nutritious, and delicious, and because our produce can reach more than 17 million people within a 3.5-hour radius, we will be able to reduce food miles and food waste,” Falcone says.
Crop One’s produce is sold in more than 35 grocery stores in the northeast U.S through its FreshBox Farms brand. In 2018, the company entered into a JV with Emirates Flight Catering to build the world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai, to begin production in early 2020.