Infarm, a global farming company based in the Netherlands, has reaffirmed its commitment to open its largest US facility in Columbia despite market conditions that have forced the company’s reorganization.
In a February release citing escalating energy prices and tough financial markets as drivers, the company announced a strategy shift under which it will focus on consolidating operations at Growing Centres that have a clear path to profitability in 2023.
“Exact numbers are still to be determined, but current proposals mean that more than half the workforce (around 500 employees) will leave the company,” Infarm officials said.
Under the company’s revised operations plan, farming capacity will be consolidated in core markets that include Frankfurt, Germany; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Toronto, Canada.
“In addition, we will open our Growing Centre in Maryland to serve the tri-state area,” officials said in the release.
Infarm plans to relocate modular high-yield industrial scale farming units already in use to the newly defined core markets.
Recent critical market factors have worsened, leading to a doubling in energy prices across Europe for Infarm and adding to the impact of supply chain disruptions and rising material costs, spurring the decision.
“We will continue to pursue our road to net zero, in line with our Science Based Target initiative emission targets,” Infarm officials said. “We have just received our B-Corp certification and will continue to uphold our high standards with regard to transparency, responsibility and sustainability.”
The Maryland Growing Centre, located in Columbia Gateway, occupies approximately 200,000 square feet and will produce up to 45 million crop plants per year.
In earlier reporting published by The Business Monthly, Erez Galonska, Infarm’s CEO and founder, said Howard County represents a strategic location that will allow the company to serve more than 23 million consumers across the Tri-State and Mid-Atlantic areas.
“Once fully operational, it will provide the Northeastern US with food production capability that minimizes climate and supply chain risk by growing more than 75 types of plants locally, sustainably, and reliably 24/7, 365 days a year,” he said.