Emirates Flight Catering to build 12,000sqm vertical farm in Dubai

Facility will take one year to complete and will deliver first products in December 2019

Emirates Flight Catering (EFC) will expand its operations in the aviation district of Dubai South with the construction of the world’s largest vertical farm.

Following the signing of an agreement with Dubai South, a JV comprising EFC and Crop One Holdings will build the 12,000sqm facility at a cost $40 million.

According to a report by WAM, a memorandum of collaboration (MoC) between EFC and Dubai South is the latest in a line of deals between the two companies. EFC is said to already operate a transit restaurant and has opted to establish other new ventures and facilities at Dubai South.

“The construction and operations of the world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai South will benefit the district and airlines flying from Al Maktoum International Airport and Dubai International Airport, where Emirates Flight Catering is considered one of the leading partners in the aviation industry. The location of the farm in the Aviation District will ensure quick delivery and high quality of the produce,” said Khalifa Suhail Al Zaffin, executive chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation.

Construction of the new facility is expected to take one year, with construction scheduled to begin in November. The first products are expected to be delivered to Emirates Flight Catering’s customers including 105 airlines and 25 airport lounges, in December 2019.

Saeed Mohammed, CEO of Emirates Flight Catering, added, “As one of the world’s largest airline catering operations, we are constantly looking at ways to improve our productivity, product and service quality. Building our vertical farming facility in the Aviation District we will deliver our fresh products from farm to fork within hours of harvest, while significantly reducing our environmental footprint. We look forward to continuing our fruitful partnership with Dubai South.”

Working at full capacity, the vertical farm facility will harvest 2,700kg of high-quality, herbicide-free and pesticide-free leafy greens daily, using 99% less water than traditional farms. As a result of having the farm located close to the point of consumption, carbon emissions associated with transportation are expected to be drastically reduced.

EFC also says that the short distance will ensure the quick delivery of fresh products, reaching customers within hours of harvest, maintaining high nutritional value.

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