AeroFarms, a certified B Corporation and leader in vertical farming, and Hortifrut S.A., a certified B Corporation in Chile and a global business platform leader in berry marketing, distribution and production, have announced a multi-year partnership to jointly research and develop blueberry and caneberry production in fully controlled indoor environments and vertical farms.

The R&D partnership will optimise blueberry and caneberry plants for indoor growing conditions and commercialise blueberries and caneberries grown in vertical farms globally.

The first phase of the partnership is already underway with blueberry plants arriving at AeroFarms global headquarters in Newark, New Jersey in the US.

AeroFarms has over 9200m2 of vertical farming space for R&D and commercial production.

Hortifrut, through its state-of-the-art genetic programme, has bred compact blueberry plants ideal for vertical farming and AeroFarms has optimised its grow systems for berry production.

Both companies envision a long-term partnership, and said they are “focused on delivering the most flavourful, nutritious, fresh blueberries to consumers at anytime, anywhere in the world.”

The agreement considers the experimental site setup, planting of Hortifrut varieties, feasibility, data analysis and potential further expansion.

“We are thrilled to announce our blueberry partnership with Hortifrut,” said David Rosenberg, co-founder and chief executive officer of AeroFarms.

“As we started sharing our mission and values with Hortifrut, we found deep alignment between our corporate goals and agricultural technologies.

“Hortifrut’s legacy of plant breeding and global blueberry production is unsurpassed in the industry, and we are excited to work together with the industry leader in delivering berries to the world every day,” added Rosenberg.

Juan Ignacio Allende, Hortifrut’s chief executive said they were excited to reach this agreement with AeroFarms.

“Now we will put the efforts and know-how of both teams to work side by side, allowing us to succeed in growing blueberries and caneberries under this new technology.

“Responsible farming, high quality fruit and a commitment to customer service are in our DNA. We believe this is only the beginning of a successful partnership focused on growing, supplying and marketing the best berries, every day all over the world,” concluded Allende.