Commentators who called microgreens producer AeroFarms down for the count after two decades are reconsidering this morning. Early today, the Certified B Corporation and indoor vertical farming company announced the successful completion of its restructuring process and the business’s exit from its June Chapter 11 filing (Case No. 23-10737).
AeroFarms’ Chapter 11 emergence includes the approval from the bankruptcy court for its Asset Purchase Agreement with a group of existing investors, led by Grosvenor Food & AgTech, including an expanded relationship with Doha Venture Capital.
Restructuring puts profitability within reach
The company reports the restructuring substantially strengthens AeroFarms’ balance sheet and provides the necessary funds to reach profitability at AeroFarms’ flagship operation in Danville, Virginia. To accelerate its path to profitability, all spending on projects that do not contribute to the ramp-up of the Danville Farm has been eliminated.
Since the Danville Farm began shipping product to customers in September 2022, revenues have continued to climb to meet growing demand. Recent completion of several automation projects further increased the farm’s throughput and efficiency. The company targets Q4 2023 for completion of the Danville operation’s ramp-up, and anticipates the farm will be profitable soon after.
Microgreens demand and distribution grow
The company reports that consumer demand and sell-through for AeroFarms microgreens products remains strong. The Danville farm grows and distributes microgreens on a consistent, year-round basis. Currently, consumers can find AeroFarms microgreens in expanded availability through more than 2,000 retail locations throughout the United States, including nationwide at Whole Foods Market stores and in regional locations of Ahold Delhaize, Harris Teeter, H-E-B and others.
“This marks a new chapter in the maturity and growth of AeroFarms,” stated Stephan Dolezalek, Managing Partner, Grosvenor Food & AgTech. “AeroFarms’ founders established the world’s most advanced vertical farming technology. We have now put in place changes needed to deliver on their vision. As an investor dedicated to creating a more sustainable global food supply chain, we see vertical farms as a critical part of the solution and are now focused on efficiently scaling our operations to deliver a market-leading product through a profitable business model.”
Molly Montgomery named Acting CEO
To lead AeroFarms through its next stage of growth, Molly Montgomery, a veteran of the food and agricultural industry and a Venture Partner with Grosvenor Food & AgTech, has been appointed Acting CEO and Executive Chairperson of the AeroFarms Board of Directors. Ms. Montgomery currently serves as a board director for companies across the agricultural supply chain and brings valuable operational experience from successfully scaling profitable businesses within the fresh food sector.
“As we face the mounting challenges of climate change and food insecurity, we need to rethink our global food supply chain,” said Molly Montgomery. “AeroFarms is a testament to the innovative thinking required to deliver highly nutritious food in a more sustainable and cost-efficient manner. The Danville Farm is an impressive operation, leveraging proprietary technology to deliver a fresh product that is less vulnerable to climate-related threats. I am looking forward to working with Guy Blanchard, the newly named AeroFarms President, and the rest of the AeroFarms team to complete the ramp-up of the Danville facility and to deliver a profitable operation that will enable future growth.”
Court filings and other documents related to the reorganization proceedings are available on a separate website administered by the company’s claims agent, Omni or on the official Bankruptcy Court website. The company will continue to provide regular updates as specific elements of its strategic plan and Chapter 11 filing meet targeted milestones.
AeroFarms is a Certified B Corporation. Named by Fast Company multiple years as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, World Changing Ideas, and Brands that Matter, AeroFarms has also been uniquely recognized by TIME for their Best Inventions in Food and by Fortune for their inaugural Change the World list.
Image courtesy of AeroFarms.