Emirates Builds the World Largest Vertical Farm with LED lighting

Emirates Airlines partnered with a U.S. based farming start-up, Crop One Holdings to construct a 12,000 square meter (130,000 square foot) vertical farming facility in Dubai for providing fresh salads for passengers.

Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC), a subsidiary of Emirates, provides catering for Emirates Airline and all other airlines at Dubai International Airport. EKFC announced a $40 million joint venture with Crop One to build the largest vertical farm in the world next to Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport. The construction is scheduled to begin in November 2018 and it is expected that the first crop will be served for in-flight meal by December 2019.


(Image: Crop One Holdings, Inc.)

Crop One grows vegetables year-round in climate-controlled rooms installed with LEDs which mimic natural sunlight. With optimal conditions of temperature and oxygen level for each crop, vertical farms use 99 percent less water than conventional farming.

Once the new farming facility is completed, according to the company, it is expected to produce 2,700 kg of food every day. The fresh vegetables could be delivered to the airport right after harvest to reduce the transport cost and emission as the vertical farm locates just next door to the airport.

“Our selection after a 10-month search by EKFC is a validation of our successful business model that uses patented technology and processes to optimize crop yields and facilitate hyper-growth,” said Sonia Lo, chief executive officer of Crop One Holdings.

Saeed Mohammed, CEO of Emirates Flight Catering, noted “By investing to build and operate the world’s largest vertical farming facility, we secure our own supply chain of high quality and locally-sourced fresh vegetables, while significantly reducing our environmental footprint. We are pleased to partner with Crop One and together we look forward to delivering a best-in-class product and excellent value to our customers and stakeholders.”

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