Millis, Mass. & Dubai, United Arab Emirates — Crop One Holdings, a technology-driven indoor vertical farming, and Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC), one of the world’s largest catering operations serving more than 100 airlines, announced the completion and official opening of Emirates Crop One (ECO 1), the world’s largest vertical farm.
Located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates near Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, the more than 330,000-square-foot facility, which spans 175 yards in length, will produce over 2 million pounds of high-quality leafy greens annually.
“We are proud to bring Crop One’s best-in-class technology to this innovative food production facility alongside our joint venture partner. ECO 1 will address growing supply chain challenges and food security issues, while introducing millions of new consumers to the benefits of vertically farmed produce,” said Craig Ratajczyk, Chief Executive Officer at Crop One. “It’s our mission to cultivate a sustainable future to meet global demand for fresh, local food, and this new farm is the manifestation of that commitment. This new facility serves as a model for what’s possible around the globe.”
The hydroponic facility is designed for continuous output of leafy green crops that are exceedingly clean and require no pre-washing, always grown without pesticides, herbicides or chemicals. Powered by Crop One’s Plants-First™ technology and infrastructure, the farm utilizes machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics, and is managed by a specialized in-house team of engineers, computer and plant scientists. ECO 1 uses 95% less water than field-grown produce while guaranteeing an output of three tons per day.
Passengers on Emirates and other airlines can enjoy the facility’s leafy greens, including lettuces, arugula, mixed salad greens, and spinach, onboard their flights starting this month. Local UAE consumers can look for the produce on store shelves under the Bustanica brand.
ECO 1 is Crop One’s second farm, following its Millis, Mass. headquarters, which has been in continuous operation since 2015.