Square Roots CEO talks future of indoor vertical farming

With the ongoing global climate threat and challenging economic environment, the way we produce food at a commercial scale must change, said Square Roots co-founder and CEO Tobias Peggs.

Peggs believes that creating stronger local food systems which require fewer resources (e.g. fewer miles traveled to reach retailers and restaurants) and in the end provide a better-quality product to consumers can create a more sustainable future for the food industry.

“The demand for local food is undeniable,”​ Peggs told FoodNavigator-USA following the company’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at its newest and largest indoor farming facility co-located with Gordon Food Service in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Square Roots is aiming to make it easier for all consumers — no matter their geography and time of year — to purchase locally-grown produce year-round.

“It is all about getting local food to as many customers as possible. It’s really just a case of getting that food on the shelf and then when it’s on the shelf, if you’re there doing your grocery shopping, you see the difference. When you get it home you realize that food is going to last for about three weeks in your refrigerator because the day you bought it, it was harvested that same day,”​ said Peggs.

“It’s such a far superior product, at exactly the same price as organic produce, why wouldn’t you buy it?”

Year-round indoor growing

At its Kenosha indoor vertical farm, Square Roots has created 20 separate ‘grow zones,’ each programmed to grow a specific variety of fresh herbs or leafy greens. 

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