(MENAFN- Bangladesh Monitor) Dubai: Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) and Crop One will co-invest US$40 million to build the world's largest vertical farming facility near Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central. The project is a joint venture with U.S.-based Crop One Holdings, the world's leading vertical farm operator.
'As one of the world's largest airline catering operations, Emirates Flight Catering constantly looks at innovation, and ways to improve our productivity, product and service quality. Introducing the latest technology to our operations, we secure our own supply chain of high quality and locally-sourced fresh vegetables, while significantly reducing our environmental footprint.,' said Saeed Mohammed, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Flight Catering.
'We are farmers using the most sophisticated plant science and proven business efficiencies to provide market leading consumer products every day. 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.'
When complete, the vertical farm facility will cover 130,000 square feet, but have a production output equivalent to 900 acres of farmland. At full production, the facility will harvest three US tons (2,700 kg) of high-quality, herbicide-free and pesticide-free leafy greens daily, using 99% less water than outdoor fields. The proximity of the farm to the point of consumption will a ensure the quick delivery of the fresh products, reaching customers within hours of harvest, maintaining high nutritional value.
The construction of the facility is scheduled to start in November 2018 and will take approximately one year to complete. The first products are expected to be delivered to Emirates Flight Catering's customers, including 105 airlines and 25 airport lounges, in December 2019.
Emirates Flight Catering is one of the world's largest catering operations. Offering airline, events and VIP catering as well as ancillary services including laundry, food production and airport lounge food and beverage. Emirates Flight Catering is a partner of over 105 airline customers, hospitality groups and UAE government entities. Each day, the company's 11,000 dedicated employees prepare an average of 225,000 meals and handle 210 tonnes of laundry.
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