Vertical strawberry farm set to expand

07-04-2021    13:51   |    Greenhouse Grower

Oishii, a produce company behind the world’s largest indoor vertical strawberry farm, has announced the closing of $50 million in Series A funding led by SPARX Group’s Mirai Creation Fund II, a fund established by Toyota Motor Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and SPARX.

Oishii has attracted the attention of the investment community due to its innovative, visionary approach to vertical farming of strawberries. The company is also planning to expand into other fruits and vegetables.

As a rapidly growing business, Oishii will use the funds to open vertical strawberry farms in new markets, expand the footprint of its flagship farm outside of Manhattan, and continue to invest in research and development to transform the future of agriculture.

“Our mission is to change the way we grow food. We set out to deliver exceptionally delicious and sustainable produce,” says Oishii CEO Hiroki Koga. “We started with the strawberry, a fruit that routinely tops the dirty dozen of most pesticide-riddled crops, as it has long been considered the holy grail of vertical farming. We aim to be the largest strawberry producer in the world, and this capital allows us to bring the best-tasting, healthiest berry to everyone. From there, we’ll quickly expand into new fruits and produce.”

Oishii is known for its innovative farming techniques that use a proprietary and first-of-its-kind pollination method that is conducted naturally with bees.

Oishii’s farmers are trained in strawberry cultivation methods thoughtfully developed over the course of decades in the foothills of Japan, seamlessly working alongside precision automation driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning. In addition to being hyper locally grown, clean, fresh, and healthy, Oishii’s berries are also carbon neutral.

“Oishii is the farm of the future,” said SPARX Group Co. President and Group CEO Shuhei Abe. “The cultivation and pollination techniques the company has developed set them well apart from the industry, positioning Oishii to quickly revolutionize agriculture as we know it.”

Oishii first introduced its Omakase Berry in 2018. An artisanal Japanese varietal unique for its sweetness, aroma, and creamy texture, it marked the first time the fruit was ever grown in the U.S.

The company is currently in development on additional strawberry varietals and other types of produce, such as tomatoes, melons, and peppers, to bring to market.

Source: Greenhouse Grower
Photo created by aleksandarlittlewolf - freepik



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