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AeroFarms has been leading the way for indoor vertical farming and championing transformational innovation for agriculture. On a mission to grow the best plants possible for the betterment of humanity, AeroFarms is a Certified B Corporation with global headquarters in Newark, New Jersey. Named to the Fast Company World Changing Ideas lists three years in a row and one of TIME’s Best Inventions, AeroFarms’ patented, award-winning indoor vertical farming aeroponic technology provides perfect conditions for healthy plants to thrive, taking agriculture to a new level of precision, food safety, and productivity while using up to 95% less water and no pesticides versus traditional field farming. Our retail brand of microgreens and baby leafy greens, Dream Greens by AeroFarms, is available across the Northeast and we are excited to continue scaling our farms both locally and globally.
As we continue to monitor COVID-19 developments, we want to emphasize the importance of taking care of ourselves, our loved ones, and our customers. As a food producing company, we believe we have a greater societal obligation to feed people, particularly during these times of need.
In these times of uncertainty and unpredictability both in business and in society, it is imperative for us to hold our mission as our guide, and to stay true to our B Corp commitment of putting people, planet and purpose first. As one of the first farming companies to become B Corp certified, we are constantly thinking about how to be a force for good in our industry, and we are committed to continuing to champion the #BTheChange spirit, especially now.
Here are five ways we are thinking about our stakeholders during COVID-19:
B Corp Pillar №1: Workers
Worker safety and security are of the utmost importance to us at AeroFarms, and we have always been committed to feeding our communities and providing year-round jobs with fair wages and benefits. To help our AeroFarms family cope with the changes in daily life routines from COVID-19, we staggered work shifts to maximize physical distancing and to allow for life shifts like changes in child care. We also are giving employees additional hourly pay and additional paid sick time to ensure they are able to take time off if needed.
B Corp Pillar №2: Customers
Providing local, safe greens to our customers is our priority, and we are taking additional preventive measures to ensure our indoor vertical farms are up-to-date for all industry guidelines and suggestions. For example, in addition to our already strict standard operating procedures inside the farm, we have implemented temperature stations to ensure all team members do not have a fever before entering.
B Corp Pillar №3: Suppliers
We want to take a moment to acknowledge the hero’s work that our selling partners are doing to stay open and ensure access to food and supplies. We join them with a resolve to continue our farm operations to grow safely, locally, every day of the year. We work closely with our suppliers to ensure our practices and supplies are exceeding industry standards for safety and in line with the most up-to-date guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We are focusing our efforts on staying flexible so we can quickly pivot farm operations where needed to ensure we can continue to grow and distribute fresh, safe greens to our communities.
B Corp Pillar №4: Community
At AeroFarms, being an active part of our community is in our DNA, and we feel an even greater obligation during these times to provide our community with fresh, safe food. We partner with local organizations like Table to Table, Community Food Bank of NJ, and Teens for Food Justice to share our greens with those in need. We are committed to being a catalyst for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2, addressing hunger on both a global and local scale. As we scale our farms to bring fresh, local food closer to communities globally, we also are supporting the goal to reach zero hunger by 2030 here in New Jersey and the surrounding New York City metropolitan area.
B Corp Pillar №5: Environment
Our food choices matter: Everything we eat has an impact on our health and the health of the planet. At AeroFarms, our philosophy is to do more with fewer resources. With planet Earth in mind, we grow with 95% less water and as much as 390 times more productivity per square foot using zero pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. We grow and distribute food locally to limit carbon emissions and minimize and eliminate food waste across the supply chain.
These five core pillars of being a B Corp are built into the way we operate. No matter the circumstances, it is important to us to live by the values that AeroFarms was founded on, and we are proud of our world-class team and our partners for their agility and resiliency during this time to ensure fresh food is accessible to our communities.
B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.
How AeroFarms Puts People, Planet and Purpose First in Uncertain Times was originally published in B The Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.