How Square Roots Will Bring Real Food to People in Cities Across North America

Square Roots | 03.06.19

Square Roots and Gordon Food Service announce major strategic partnership to grow local real food across the continent.

Square Roots Next-Gen Farmers harvesting basil inside a Square Roots Brooklyn vertical indoor farm.

Square Roots indoor farms will be built on or near GFS distribution centers and retail stores across North America.

We’re thrilled today to announce a major strategic partnership between Square Roots and Gordon Food Service — to grow local food for people in cities all across North America.

This is a massive endorsement of Square Roots’ scalable “farmer-first” technology platform — which brings delicious, healthy food to urban areas, all year-round, while simultaneously training future generations of farmers.

Gordon Food Service is one of the country’s leading foodservice providers — with distribution operations spanning North America as well as 175 retail locations across the US. Our strategic partnership will see new campuses of Square Roots’ indoor farms built on or near Gordon Food Service distribution centers and retail stores across the continent.

The scale of this partnership marks an important and validating moment for the indoor farming industry in North America. And we couldn’t be happier to be working alongside such a mission-aligned partner in Gordon Food Service to make it all happen.

Participants in Square Roots’ Next-Gen Farmer Training Program.

Participants in Square Roots’ Next-Gen Farmer Training Program.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely familiar with Square Roots and our mission. We’re here to bring local, real food to people in cities — by empowering the next generation of leaders in the food system through our Next-Gen Farmer Training Program.

As a tech-enabled food company, we’ve developed a scalable “farmer-first” platform that surrounds our farmers with data, insights, and tools, so they can grow non-GMO, pesticide-free, delicious food, all year round. This partnership with Gordon Food Service will also mark the first significant deployment of our own proprietary cloud-connected, modular, indoor farm design, which utilizes a water-efficient hydroponic growing system along with vertical growing walls — requiring significantly less water and space than outdoor farms.

Additionally, the farming campuses built as part of this strategic relationship will harness power from Gordon Food Service’s existing wind farm of 14 turbines, which generates more than 100 GWh of energy each year for the company.

Gordon Food Service and Square Roots partnership.

Gordon Food Service: “We believe in the power of good food — to bring people together and make moments special.”

Thanks to the unique design of our technology platform, Square Roots farming campuses can scale rapidly and cost-effectively in any location to meet growing customer demand. And as our network of distributed farms gets larger, it also gets smarter: more connected farms means more feedback loops, which increases our rate of learning dramatically. Ultimately this means we can develop optimum growing recipes for more and more types of foods — strawberries and tomatoes, for example, in addition to the delicious herbs and greens we currently specialize in.

As our platform scales, as well as growing more great food and training more new farmers, it also helps more food consumers in important ways. For example, one key component is our Transparency Timeline, which enables customers to trace exactly how and where their food was grown and who grew it — simply by scanning a QR code on any package of Square Roots produce. The aim is to harness technology to foster deeper connections between millions of urban food consumers and their local farm, while implicitly enhancing food safety — and ultimately trust — through transparency and traceability.

Square Roots' Transparency Timeline.

Harnessing technology to foster deeper connections between urban food consumers and their local farm.

It’s been exciting for us to witness a company as large as Gordon Food Service move so fast to address the increasing consumer demand for locally-grown food. It’s also very clear that Gordon Food Service takes its role as a responsible member of the food supply chain seriously. They recognize that, at their scale, adoption of innovative solutions like Square Roots can drive significant positive change throughout the entire foodservice industry. Frankly, it’s an honor to be working with them.

Square Roots and Gordon Food Service partnership.

Together, we will leverage technology to bring locally grown, real food to people all across North America, while empowering thousands of passionate people to become our country’s future farmers.

Our teams have been working together for several months to arrive at today’s announcement. But it was obvious from our very first meeting that our missions and visions aligned. Together, we will leverage technology to bring locally grown, real food to a huge number of people across North America, while empowering thousands of passionate people to become our country’s future farmers.

And this is just the beginning.

For more information, please read the official joint Press Release here.

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