Walmart invests in vertical farming startup Plenty to bring fresher produce to California

 

Farm to table is a concept that is not only sustainable but is also nutritious and economical. Bringing fresh produce to Californians is the latest outreach by Walmart as it works towards always looking at new ways to offer more to its customers. On Tuesday, Walmart announced that it was investing in the startup Plenty which produces leafy greens through vertical farming.

Walmart has not mentioned the amount it is investing in the startup but said that an executive from the giant retailer would be a board member in Plenty. The startup has received $400 million in funding which is led by One Madison Group and JS Capital. Both Walmart and Soft Bank Vision Fund are among the participants in this round of funding.

According to a report in CNBC, Martin Mundo, senior vice president of produce merchandising in the U.S. said that Walmart traveled the world to meet with vertical farming companies. From four years, it has been learning about this newer mode of agriculture.

Mundo also said that the big box retailer saw this agricultural approach as an environmental friendly way that would provide produce that is reliable, of high quality and is affordable, throughout the year.

Plenty CEO Arama Kukutai said that the Walmart deal was a step forward for providing easy access to produce that was both fresh and clean. He said that the deal would create an opportunity to scale up production and making greens accessible on a broader basis.

Walmart is expected to offer leafy greens in its 250 stores in California. These greens will be sourced from a vertical farm that is located in the city of Compton, which is in southern Los Angeles County. Walmart will sell some of the greens under its private label while others will be available under the Plenty brand.

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