Bright Farms, Bright Future?

September 30, 2011

Will your roof get a greenhouse? It's possible if Bright Farms moves in with a plan to provide supermarkets with all of their fresh and local produce needs.

What’s growing on your roof? If you answered, “Nothing,” that could change, because the New York based firm Bright Farms has a plan that will turn the rooftops of supermarkets green with rooftop based greenhouses. The firm hopes to supply supermarket chains with enough roof-grown fruits and vegetables to stock their shelves for at least 10 years. The concept costs the supermarkets virtually nothing except the contract to buy what's grown up top. 
According to Benjamin Linsley, VP of business development and public affairs, Bright Farms puts up the $1.5 to $2 million to build the greenhouse, and it maintains and operates and sells 500,000 pounds of produce to the supermarket per year.
With consumer demand and desire for more local foods due to nutrition and energy concerns, the Bright Farms concept may just be a hit.  In fact, according to Bright Farms and also well known today, studies estimate that the food industry consumes around 10 percent of the nation's energy with only about 20 percent of it actually used in food production.
Linsley goes on to say that, "For a head of lettuce in New York, up to 50 percent of its value goes to the cost of transportation." And according to stats provided by Bright Farms, each greenhouse will mitigate around 740 tons of Co2 emissions per year and will use up to nine times less water, saving around five million gallons a year.

The hydroponic greenhouses aim to do these things: produce better produce that is fresher and grown for quality, taste and nutrition as well as making sure the produce is not expensive and reduce carbon emissions. Bright Farms hopes to begin planting and building in 2012.