Q&A | Paul Lightfoot, BrightFarms

04/06/2012 08:32:00 AM
Tom Karst

For example, we’re not trying to grow kale here, because kale doesn’t present a great arbitrage opportunity. You can grow kale pretty easily in a lot of places and pretty cheaply, but lettuce and tomatoes, we feel they are produced relatively inefficiently in North America. 

Lettuce in particularly is almost entirely coming from the West Coast and is produced in a way that the producer of the food is getting less than half of the wholesale cost. 

2:40 p.m. Karst: When will the facility have produce coming off the roof?

2:41 p.m. Lightfoot: We are planning to be live in the first quarter of 2013. 

2:41 p.m. Karst: Do you think this concept is transferable to other cities as well?

2:42 p.m. Lightfoot: Absolutely.

2:42 p.m. Karst: What is the reaction from the supermarkets in the city and are you getting positive energy out of that?

2:42 p.m. Lightfoot: The reaction of the supermarkets has been unbelievable. The supermarket industry recognized that they are paying more for transportation and distribution than they are for some products. That doesn’t make them feel great. They want to sell good food at good prices to their customers, and they realize that the length and complexity of some of the supply chains are making it so they are not selling good food at prices.


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