An urban greenhouse deal will allow Giant Food to deliver local produce – very local – to its customers in the Washington, D.C. area.
Giant is partnering with BrightFarms, which expects to complete a 100,000 sq ft urban greenhouse near a Giant store in southeast D.C. this fall. The facility will be the largest urban greenhouse of its kind in the world, BrightFarms says.
The company says its growing method uses far less land and water than conventional agriculture, and the greenhouses will allow year-round production.
BrightFarms will build and operate the greenhouse in partnership with the city’s Department of General Services and the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation. The company also plans to offer educational opportunities for local schools to learn about urban agriculture and environmental sustainability.
The BrightFarms business model involves signing long-term purchase agreements, similar to power purchase agreements for renewable energy. The contracts feature fixed prices and minimum volume commitments.
Giant Food operates 170 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and D.C. and employs about 20,000 people. It is owned by Dutch retail giant Ahold.