‘Hands-free’ growers set to profit from food safety fears in COVID-19 pandemic

“This is what we call hands-free cultivation,” said Anthony Umina of Fresh Local Produce of Ohio, showing off the company’s new high-tech growing facility in Hudson, Ohio, to Horti Daily.

In February 2020, the company began 24-hour production of baby lettuces in a two-acre, fully automated greenhouse designed and constructed for it by Green Automation; already, it sells to several local grocery stores in under brand name Free! Leafy Greens.

“The name Free! Leafy Greens is referring to everything this baby leaf lettuce is free of: free of chemical pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, free from GMO, free from chlorine washes and even free from any hands touching the lettuce,” Umina explained.

“Food safety is at the top of everyone’s priority list today: retailers, restaurants and consumers alike. Our hands-free cultivation in the controlled environment of a greenhouse checks all the boxes for safe and sustainable growing.”

Read the full Horti Daily article here.

Then check out this Cleveland, Ohio Fox8 News segment (courtesy Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc) in which Fresh Local Produce of Ohio’s VP of Marketing Mark Chenoweth and Food Safety Manager Gina Frontino talk about the company’s automated robotic growing facility, increased demand for its Free! Leafy Greens product lines since the start of the United States’ COVID-19 crisis, and enhanced health and safety standards under COVID-19 restrictions.

Sources: “This is what we call hands-free cultivation” I Horti Daily; Fox8 News Cleveland segment I Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc