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Emirates Airlines passengers to be fed by world’s largest vertical farm

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By Andrew Joseph

Emirates Flight Catering and U.S.-based Crop One are co-investing US$40-million to build the world’s largest vertical farming facility in Dubai.

Crop One, based in Silicon Valley, Cal. and Emirates Flight Catering will construct a state-of-the-art 12,000 square metre (130,000 square foot) facility near Al Maktoum International Airportat Dubai World Central. The companies say the facility will create 365 ha of conventional farmland producing 2.7 tonnes of produce every day.

The endeavour will eclipse FarmedHere’s 8,400 square metre facility in Chicago, and New Jersey’s Aerofarm’s 6,400 square metre efforts.


Vertical farms produce in vertical stacked layers, helping increase yields, cut transport costs and overcome limited land availability. They also use one per cent of water versus traditional farming methods. And, because they are usually organized within a building in a controlled environment, herbicides and pesticides are not needed.

“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 Emirates Flight Catering chief executive officer Saeed Mohammed in release.

“Weare pleased to partner with Crop One, the industry’s leading grower, packer and distributor, and a successful company that shares our corporate values. Together we look forward to delivering a best-in-class product and excellent value to our customers and stakeholders,” he said.

The facility will begin construction in November of 2018, with the first meals hitting the airplanes ofEmirates Airlines by December of 2019.

Watch a YouTube video describing the joint venture:


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