Plenty Unlimited Inc. will establish the world’s largest indoor vertical farming campus at the Meadowville Technology Park in Chesterfield County, Virginia. The $300 million project is expected to create 300 jobs.
The company plans to complete its Richmond Farm Campus in multiple phases over the next six years. Plenty’s first farm on this site, a dedicated Driscoll’s berry farm to be completed by winter 2023-2024, will be the first to grow indoor, vertically farmed strawberries at scale.
“At Plenty, we’re on a mission to sustainably grow fresh food for everyone, everywhere,” said Plenty CEO Arama Kukutai. “This campus will raise the bar on what indoor vertical farming can deliver. The scale and sophistication of what we’re building here in Virginia will make it possible to economically grow a variety of produce with superior quality and flavor. We look forward to continuing to work in close partnership with the government of Virginia as we endeavor to rewrite the rules of agriculture.”
The Governor's office approved a $2.4 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund, as well as a $500,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund to assist Chesterfield County. The company is eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program, as well as the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit for new, full-time jobs created. Support for Plenty’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program.
“Indoor farming is fundamentally changing agribusiness with environmentally and socially responsible farming technologies that make local, sustainable produce available to more communities,” added Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “Plenty will be able to easily grow and distribute fresh products to thousands of customers from its new campus in Chesterfield County, reinforcing the benefits of Virginia’s strategic location and dedicated workforce. We are proud to welcome Plenty to the Commonwealth and thank the company for further advancing the Controlled Environment Agriculture industry in Virginia.”
Plenty has developed the world’s most advanced indoor farm, powered by the its more than 200 patent assets, to efficiently and sustainably grow clean, flavorful produce year-round on its more than 30-foot grow towers. The company recently secured $400 million in a Series E financing round, the largest investment to date for an indoor farming company, according to state officials.
“It is clear that access to an expanding international trade gateway was key in Plenty Unlimited’s strategic decision to come to Chesterfield County and we look forward to partnering with them as their global gateway,” noted Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “Plenty is building a one-of-a-kind, environmentally conscious vertical farming operation and this company’s sustainability philosophy aligns with The Port of Virginia’s larger goal of becoming completely carbon neutral by 2040. Virginia is the top location for agriculture-related cargo, and we welcome the news of Plenty’s investment in Virginia.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with Chesterfield County, the Greater Richmond Partnership (GRP), and Dominion Energy to secure the project for Virginia.
“Innovation, technology, and agriculture go hand-in-hand in Virginia, and we are thrilled that Chesterfield County will soon be home to the world’s largest indoor farming campus,” said Jennifer Wakefield, President and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership. “We’re pleased that Plenty is the latest sustainable company to select Greater Richmond to grow their operations.”