Podcast Episode 69: Transforming Agriculture With Marc Oshima

The Produce Moms Podcast

“We’re transforming agriculture by enabling local production within farms in major cities…where the people are.” – Marc Oshima (2:07 – 2:13)

Marc Oshima is the co-founder and CMO of AeroFarms, one of the most innovative companies in the world, according to Fast Company. They were selected as a winner in Environment for the 2018 World Technology Awards. 

AeroFarms disrupts traditional supply chains by building farms on major distribution routes and near population centers.

What is AeroFarms all about?

AeroFarms is on a mission to transform agriculture by building and operating environmentally responsible farms throughout the world. They enable local production at scale to nourish our communities with safe, nutritious, and delicious food.

They’re a global leader when it comes to local, delicious, and nutritious produce grown indoors without sun or soil. AeroFarms is headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, and they’ve built nine indoor farms to date. 

“Our primary focus should be to develop delicious food products. At the end of the day, it’s not nutrition until it’s eaten, and no one is going to choose food that doesn’t taste good.”  – Lori Taylor (7:45 – 7:59)

AeroFarms is a mission-driven organization that aims to grow the best produce possible for the benefit of humanity. They’ve developed patented and award-winning aeroponic technology (the process of growing plants in the air without the use of soil) that provides the perfect environment for plants to grow. 

They’re all about celebrating flavorful food and having a beneficial impact on people and the planet. AeroFarms isn’t just focused on the United States. They want to reach the entire world. 

Transforming Agriculture With Marc Oshima

What is AeroFarms growing?

AeroFarms produces over 700 types of plants, including short-stem leafy greens, herbs, and microgreens. Growing indoors focuses on identifying where the business opportunities are and where AeroFarms can add value to the consumer.

A hundred years ago, there were almost five hundred varieties of lettuce available for people to consume. Now, that number is somewhere around forty. Having full control over the production process allows AeroFarms to re-introduce many of those varieties back to the market, adding richness in variety, flavor, and nutrition. 

AeroFarms can grow short-stem leafy greens in less than fifteen days. They do this by having a deep understanding of plant biology and giving the plant what it needs with extreme precision. 

They do all this with 95 percent less water than what’s required in a field farm. They don’t have to use pesticides since they’re growing indoors, minimizing the environmental impact and improving the health of the produce.

A global mission with a local focus

An increase in production can go a long way in ensuring that there is enough food produced for the masses, which is one of the components of the mission. The world population is expected to hit nine billion by 2050, and traditional farming resources are declining. 

“Buying local is the  number one trend in retail. It’s even bigger than organic. People want to have a connection with their food. They want to know where it’s coming from.”  – Marc Oshima (12:52 – 13:01)

Even as they aim to feed the entire world, AeroFarms maintains a focus on the local community where they serve consumers. Being able to grow in cities where people live, they can provide consumers food that is sourced locally, while at the same time benefiting the local economy. 

People want to buy local food even more than organic. And through their retail brand Dream Greens, AeroFarms hopes that you’ll soon be able to enjoy locally grown, pesticide-free, flavorful, and nutritious produce all year round.

Marc Oshima is co-founder & CMO of @AeroFarms. He joins us on #TheProduceMoms #podcast to discuss how AeroFarms is transforming agriculture by building farms on major distribution routes & near population centers. Click To Tweet

How to get involved

  • Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! 
  • Learn more about AeroFarms.

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