Head grower Robert Norris walks through rows of tomato plants at 80 Acres Farms that is now operating in downtown Hamilton. They purchased the former Miami Motor Car Co. building on S. 2nd Street in February 2017 and have renovated it to create an indoor farm facility. The special pink colored lighting is controlled by a timer for optimal growing conditions. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Photo: Nick Graham
Photo: Nick Graham

Company with large Hamilton indoor growing operations joining international food effort

Southwest Ohio’s 80 Acres Farms, which has two Hamilton locations, is part of a venture aimed at addressing the challenges and opportunities confronting indoor horticulture and agriculture.

Known as Infinite Acres, the independent joint venture includes Ocado Group, the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailer, plus Netherlands-based Priva Holding BV, a leading provider of technology solutions, services and automation systems to horticultural and other industries, and 80 Acres Farms, a technology-assisted indoor growing and multi-farm operator marketing freshly harvested vegetables, leafy greens and fruits.

Infinite Acres’ mission is to provide the best technology available to grow the highest quality produce near population centers throughout the world, including in places where year-round nutritious produce is in short supply due to climate and growing conditions or must be transported considerably long distances,” Infinite Acres said in a release.

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Ocado, based in the United Kingdom, brings to the partnership its Ocado Solutions division, a global technology provider known for cutting-edge software and hardware systems, robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence.

“Our three partner companies provide an unbiased form of collaboration. From concept to consumers’ tables, we bring a unique value proposition to this underserved marketplace,” said Tisha Livingston, chief executive officer of Infinite Acres. “Infinite Acres believes its integrated solutions will have a considerable impact on the profitability, and competitiveness of food service industry customers everywhere — growers, distributors, retailers, and governments – who seek the cleanest, healthy, pesticide-free produce for consumers.”

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Mike Zelkind, chief executive of 80 Acres Farms, said the venture was “an amazing combination of best-of-breed companies.”

Priva and 80 Acres Farms, he said, provide extensive horticulture, engineering, operational and food industry expertise.

“Along with Ocado’s predictive analytics, automation and comprehensive system development, the partnership will provide its customers with everything from state-of-the-art facilities with uniquely developed crop recipes and the right unit economics to an option for facility management with yield guarantees, product packaging, branding, marketing, and distribution,” Zelkind said. “80 Acres Farms will offer these options for customers seeking an operating partner.”

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