IFPA Supports Members Exploring Indoor Ag
The concepts of vertical and indoor farming have been rising in popularity in recent years. Vonnie Estes of the International Fresh Produce Association says that after seeing an evolution in their membership dynamic, the association has made supporting indoor farms a priority.
Estes… “We always have to be watching what’s changing and what’s new and we started having a lot more members that were indoor farms. So we started looking at, is there a reason to start getting a group of people together and have a council. So I run the CEA council that we formed at the end of last year. So we’re just starting to bring that group of people together and look at, you know, what are the issues that we could help solve and we just started seeing it as a community within produce that we felt like had its own identity enough that, you know, we need to see how we can help and be involved.”
Estes believes instead of competing for business, indoor farming will supplement traditional farming in areas that cannot grow crops as vigorously.
Estes… “In places where you can’t grow outside or in California as water, you know, gets more and more scarce, producers are going to produce, and some of them are going to look at, okay maybe I should do indoor because that’s a good way for me to produce given the restrictions that I have on inputs and land. Anything grown indoors right now, I don’t know the exact percentage, but it’s such a small percent of what’s out there.”
That’s Vonnie Estes, vice president of innovation at the International Fresh Produce Association.