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Giant Food LLC and BrightFarms Inc. have partnered to deliver year-round local produce to the Ahold USA’s stores throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The partnership’s 100,000-square-foot facility, slated to be built near the Giant store at 1535 Alabama Avenue in southeast Washington, will be the largest urban greenhouse of its kind in the world, according to New York-based BrightFarms.
As well as providing thousands of local shoppers with year-round fresh produce, the venture will create up to 20 full-time green-collar jobs, facilitate more than 100 construction jobs and convert underused land into a sustainable farm, the company said, adding that it would offer educational opportunities for area schools to learn about urban agriculture and environmental sustainability.
Committed to Quality
“Giant is committed to serving our community by delivering the highest-quality produce at the best value,” noted Gordon Reid, president of Landover, Md.-based Giant Food. “This unique partnership with BrightFarms will benefit the local economy while providing our customers with fresh, locally grown and sustainable produce year round.”
BrightFarms CEO Paul Lightfoot commended Giant as a company “that shares our dedication to environmental stewardship and customer service.”
Aided by Washington’s Department of General Services and the Anacostia Economic Development Corp. in support of the Mayor’s Sustainable D.C. Plan, BrightFarms will design, build and operate the greenhouse. The company expects the facility to be up and running by the autumn of 2014.
BrightFarms has been busy of late, upgrading its Pennsylvania facility that serves area McCaffrey’s Market and A&P stores, and collaborating with Roundy’s banner Mariano’s on a greenhouse to deliver year-round local produce to the chain’s Chicagoland customers.
Giant operates 170 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia, employing about 20,000 associates.