Latest FreshBox Farms News
May 9, 2019
Crop One Holdings Launches Vertical Farm Opportunity Fund to Build and Operate New Vertical Farm May 9, 2019 Vertical farm operator and parent of the FreshBox Farms brand, Crop One Holdings, announced its launch of the Vertical Farm Opportunity Fund #1 as a vehicle through which to raise capital to bring vertical farming to Texas. California-based Crop One, which has been in commercial production longer than any other major vertical farmer in the U.S., has seized the growth potential for vertical farming in the U.S., where the market for leafy greens is estimated to be $8 billion annually, and is seeing growth of 10 percent per year. Additionally, the market for other crops including strawberries, herbs, and other fruit is expected to be worth $50 billion per year, according to the company. The company’s Massachusetts-based FreshBox Farms subsidiary has been producing leafy green retail products since 2016, which it supplies to supermarkets and home delivery services across the Boston metropolitan area. Last year, Crop One Holdings partnered with Emirates Flight Catering, a subsidiary of the Emirates Group in a $40 million joint venture to build the largest vertical farming operation in Dubai. Construction of the 130,000 square-foot facility was scheduled to begin in November of last year, with a goal for the farm to provide high-quality produce to 106 Emirates Flight Catering clients, including the Emirates Airline and 25 airport lounges. The farm, which was said to be the largest of its kind in the world, will produce in a fully-controlled environment free of herbicides and pesticides, while using 99 percent less water than traditional agricultural production. And its location near the Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Center will ensure that the fresh produce grown on-site can be delivered to clients in a matter of hours from harvest. Vertical Farm Opportunity Fund Crop One is now turning its sights on the state of Texas and is planning to construct a vertical farm in a qualified Opportunity Zone in the Austin-San Antonio corridor. Created by Congress as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Opportunity Zones were established to encourage private investment and social advancement in low-income communities with the goal of creating jobs and fostering new business formation. From there, it will serve the city of Austin, the 11th largest city in the U.S., and will have access to San Antonio, the 7th largest, Houston, the 4th largest, and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, the 9th largest city area in the U.S. “With this Opportunity Zone Fund, we are bringing scalable, vertical farming technology to Texas,” said Sonia Lo, CEO, Crop One Holdings. “The new farm will be environmentally conscious and produce fresh, locally-grown food that is healthy and affordable. Our expert staff of farmers, resource conservation specialists, and ag-tech leaders are changing the way we grow and enjoy food, and we are looking forward to providing great, fresh produce to the Austin-San Antonio area.” In support of this project, through Fund #1, Crop One is aiming to raise capital under a Regulation D506(c) offering for the development of the facilities and as working capital to fund operations. “With the creation of at least 75 new jobs in its initial phase, the Farm will have a positive economic impact on the local economy,” said Deane Falcone, hief science officer with Crop One. “As with all of our farms, the Farm is expected to use 99 percent less water compared to conventional farming. Our products are pesticide-free, non-GMO, nutritious, and delicious, and because our produce can reach more than 17 million people within a 3.5-hour radius, we will be able to reduce food miles and food waste.” Investors in QOFs like the Vertical Farming Opportunity Fund are then eligible for a range of tax benefits including deferral of current capital gains, a reduction in tax on current capital gains of up to 15 percent, and no capital gains taxes on appreciation of the QOF interest if the interest is held for a minimum of 10 years. -Lynda Kiernan Lynda Kiernan is Editor with GAI Media and daily contributor to GAI News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org .