Announces New Leadership to Drive Profitability
Newark, NJ, Sept. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AeroFarms, Inc. (“AeroFarms” or the “Company”), a Certified B Corporation and market leader for indoor vertical farming and microgreens, today announced the successful completion of its restructuring process and exit of its business from Chapter 11 (Case No. 23-10737). AeroFarms’ emergence from Chapter 11 includes the approval from the bankruptcy court for its Asset Purchase Agreement (“APA”) with a group of existing investors, led by Grosvenor Food & AgTech (GFA), including an expanded relationship with Doha Venture Capital.
This restructuring substantially strengthens AeroFarms’ balance sheet, injecting the necessary funds to reach profitability at the flagship operation in Danville, Virginia. The Company has eliminated spending on all projects that do not contribute to the ramp-up of the Danville Farm, thereby accelerating its path to profitability. Since the Danville Farm began shipping product to customers in September 2022, revenues have continuously climbed to meet growing demand. More recently, the completion of several automation projects has further increased the throughput and efficiency of the farm. The Company targets completing the ramp-up of its Danville operation by the end of 2023 and reaching profitability at the farm soon thereafter.
Consumer demand and sell-through for AeroFarms microgreens products are extremely strong. At the Danville Farm, the Company grows and distributes high-quality microgreens on a consistent, year-round basis with robust flavor and higher nutrient density than its more mature green counterparts. Currently, AeroFarms microgreens can be found in over 2,000 retail locations throughout the United States, including nationwide at Whole Foods Market stores and in regional locations of Ahold Delhaize, Harris Teeter, H-E-B, and others.
“This marks a new chapter in the maturity and growth of AeroFarms,” stated Stephan Dolezalek, Managing Partner, Grosvenor Food & AgTech (GFA). “AeroFarms’ founders established the world’s most advanced vertical farming technology. We have now put in place changes needed to deliver on their vision. As an investor dedicated to creating a more sustainable global food supply chain, we see vertical farms as a critical part of the solution and are now focused on efficiently scaling our operations to deliver a market-leading product through a profitable business model.”
To lead AeroFarms through its next stage of growth, Molly Montgomery, a veteran of the food and agricultural industry and a Venture Partner with Grosvenor Food & AgTech, has been appointed Acting CEO and Executive Chairperson of the AeroFarms Board of Directors. Ms. Montgomery currently serves as a board director for companies across the agricultural supply chain, including Wilbur-Ellis, The Wine Group, Custom Made Meals (CMM), and Benson Hill. Ms. Montgomery brings invaluable operational experience from successfully scaling profitable businesses within the fresh food sector. Most recently, she served as a CEO of CMM, a private-equity owned company in the fresh protein sector. Prior to CMM, she served as CEO of Landec Corporation, a public company with Curation Foods, Landec’s largest business unit, a provider of fresh, packaged vegetables and salad kits.
“As we face the mounting challenges of climate change and food insecurity, we need to rethink our global food supply chain,” said Molly Montgomery. “AeroFarms is a testament to the innovative thinking required to deliver highly nutritious food in a more sustainable and cost-efficient manner. The Danville Farm is an impressive operation, leveraging proprietary technology to deliver a fresh product that is less vulnerable to climate-related threats. I am looking forward to working with Guy Blanchard, the newly named AeroFarms President, and the rest of the AeroFarms team to complete the ramp-up of the Danville facility and to deliver a profitable operation that will enable future growth.”
According to Nielsen syndicated data, AeroFarms is the fastest growing packaged salad greens brand by revenue at retail in the United States.* AeroFarms microgreens are safely grown indoors in its Danville Farm, a state-of-the art facility certified for USDA Good Agricultural Practices, SQF Level 2 Good Manufacturing Practices, Non-GMO Project Verification, OU Kosher, and the industry-leading CEA Food Safety Seal that was developed to differentiate indoor clean growing practices from traditional challenges in the field. AeroFarms microgreens are completely pesticide free and are ready to eat without any need to wash, providing a major benefit to customers looking for safety and convenience.
Court filings and other documents related to the reorganization proceedings are available on a separate website administered by the Company’s claims agent, Omni, at www.omniagentsolutions.com/aerofarms or www.deb.uscourts.gov, the official Bankruptcy Court website. The Company will continue to provide regular updates as specific elements of its strategic plan and Chapter 11 filing meet targeted milestones.
Since 2004, AeroFarms has been leading the way for indoor vertical farming and championing transformational innovation for agriculture. Through its world-class team of plant scientists, engineers, operators, and produce experts, AeroFarms combines award-winning indoor vertical farming technology that provides the perfect conditions for healthy plants to thrive, with an operations focus that takes agriculture to a new level of precision, food safety, and productivity while using up to 95% less water and no pesticides ever versus traditional field farming. This combination of skills enables 365 days a year production to safely grow nutrient-dense, tasty produce, using vertical farming for elevated flavor.™ AeroFarms is a Certified B Corporation. Named by Fast Company multiple years as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, World Changing Ideas, and Brands that Matter, AeroFarms has also been uniquely recognized by TIME for their Best Inventions in Food and by Fortune for their inaugural Change the Worldlist.
About Grosvenor Food & AgTech
Grosvenor Food & AgTech is an active investor in companies that are reshaping food and agriculture around the world – for the better. We identify entrepreneurs and businesses rethinking how food is produced, distributed, and consumed, supporting their growth as lead investors and highly engaged board members. With one of the longest established investment teams in the sector, we actively manage a portfolio of over 25 companies, helping them lead positive change in a way that enhances human health and the natural environment, enabling the economic sustainability of farming and food production. Our companies harness the power of technology and apply it through innovative business models to deliver lasting solutions that can be deployed at scale. We are a values-led organisation which represents the Grosvenor family. Our work in food and agtech, alongside Grosvenor’s other activities in international urban property, rural estate management and support for philanthropic initiatives, shares a common purpose – to deliver lasting commercial, social, and environmental benefit – addressing today’s needs while taking responsibility for those of future generations.
*Source – NielsenIQ Retail Measurement Total US x AOC Latest 52 Wks – wke 07/15/23
CONTACT: Marc Oshima AeroFarms 9176734602 firstname.lastname@example.org
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