There are many benefits to eating local food—reduced carbon emissions from transport, more nutritious products picked closer to ripening, supporting local economies—but for a lot of people, local isn’t an option. There are many food swamps and food deserts throughout the United States that are in part a result of limited access to healthy, local food. Much of the time, food racks up quite a few miles on the foodometer before it reaches our plates. But the organizations Square Roots and Gordon Food Service are partnering to help bring locally-grown food to customers across North America year-round.
Founded in 2016, Square Roots has developed scalable urban farming technology to achieve their mission of bringing local, real food to people in cities to empower the next generation of leaders in urban agriculture. Gordon Food Service is one of the leading food service providers with distribution operations spanning North America, along with 175 retail locations. This partnership will help enable Square Roots to develop new indoor farms near Gordon Food Service distribution centers and retail stores, which will make an assortment of high-quality, local produce available to Gordon Food Service customers.
“Customers want an assortment of fresh, locally grown food all year round. We are on a path to do that at scale with Square Roots and are excited to be the first in the industry to offer this unique solution to our customers,” said Rich Wolowski, CEO of Gordon Food Service.
Square Roots will not only bring their high-tech farming platform to the collaboration—including their transparency timeline—but they will implement their Next-Gen Farmer Training Program in the new locations. This program trains young people to become future food leaders and includes education in plant science, food entrepreneurship, community engagement, and of course growing food.
With this partnership, eating local will get a bit easier for the many cities that will soon have a Square Roots campus, helping people reduce their carbon footprint while supporting the next generation of urban farmers.
Featured Image Courtesy of Square Roots