Guest post by Brad McNamara and Jon Friedman, co-founders of Freight Farms. The views expressed are solely those of the authors and do not reflect the views of Food+Tech Connect.
Over the past few years we’ve been watching this vibrant and rapidly growing food movement gain momentum as people become more interested in the story behind the food on their plates. People want to be more involved. Not only do they want healthy, fresh, and sustainably produced food, they also want to know about its journey from farm to table. For the future, it’s crucial to develop new ways of thinking about food production and distribution in order to meet growing consumer demand and lessen our impact on the natural environment. Technological advancements and new business models in the food industry have been and will continue to be key in driving that change.
Here at Freight Farms our mission is to create a more sustainable and connected food system by providing the tools that enable fresh food production in any environment. We believe in utilizing design and technology to challenge the status quo while simultaneously inspiring change. Our flagship product, the Leafy Green Machine, is a fully operational hydroponic farm built inside an up-cycled shipping container. We’ve built a system that’s automated and climate controlled, so that anyone can grow fresh leafy greens, regardless of the outside climate and without needing a PHD in horticulture.
To make things as simple as possible for our farmers, we’ve also developed an app called farmhand that allows them to remotely monitor and track their farming operation. Utilizing this technology brings unparalleled control and transparency to food production, and gives our farmers peace of mind when they’re not on-site. More importantly, technology has allowed us to make farming an attractive profession again.
As we all try to find solutions to feed the growing global population and do it in a way that doesn’t deplete natural resources, we need to be open to new ways of doing things. This includes harnessing technology and introducing new business models to create a more intelligent and connected food system.
Internet of Food is editorial series exploring how we might use technology, new business models and design to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone? Join the conversation between February 17 and April 2. Share your ideas in the comments, on Twitter using#internetoffood, Facebook or LinkedIn.
Brad McNamara is the CEO and co-founder of Freight Farms. As a champion for sustainability and eco-friendly practices, Brad has deftly combined his business and marketing background to help bring his latest company, Freight Farms, to the world stage. He and his co-founder, Jon Friedman, have developed a product that allows any business or individual to grow a high-volume of fresh produce in any environment regardless of the climate. He has big expectations for the future, envisioning Freight Farms scattered across the globe making a dramatic impact on the way food is produced. Brad has an MBA and Masters in Environmental Science from Clark University.
Jon Friedman is the Co-Founder and President of Freight Farms. He is using design thinking to build a better food system and make fresh food locally accessible anywhere on the globe. The past decade Friedman has designed products for companies like Merck, Unilever, P&G and worked with start-ups to visualize consumer facing experiences. Jon is most excited to make it easier for the world population to live in balance with the planet. Freight Farms is a way to create immediate impact and a long-term solution to reduce human stress on nature’s limited resources. Jon is an alumni of Boston based start-up accelerators; MassChallenge & TechStars.