FreshBox Farms’ CEO Welcomes Organic Ruling, but...


This week, the National Organic Standards Board finally made a decision on one of the most divisive issues in the organic world: should crops grown in water, containers, or otherwise not in the ground be allowed to call themselves organic?

The decision: hydroponic and container gardens will remain eligible for organic certification.

Sonia Lo, CEO of FreshBox Farms, the nation’s largest modular vertical farm, welcomes the new ruling, but notes that consumers already are moving “beyond organic.”

FreshBox Farms uses sustainable growing enclosures that use no soil, very little water, a rigorously-tested nutrient mix and LED lighting to produce the freshest, cleanest, tastiest produce possible. FreshBox Farms’ non-GMO certified products go from harvest to the grocer’s produce section in hours, rather than days.

Lo notes that FreshBox Farms yields are better without organic nutrient use, so the Millis-based farm is not impacted by the ruling. “As organic nutrients for hydroponics become more developed, we will, of course, consider using them.”

She points out, however, that consumers are quickly learning a distinction between organic field-grown greens and non-organic indoor-grown greens, what the industry calls Beyond Organic. “And we see that consumers ARE making the Beyond Organic choice.”

“We predict three categories will move forward—field-grown organic, Beyond Organic hydroponic, and organic hydroponic."

Sonia can explain why consumers are choosing greens grown indoors, why this field is growing (*no pun intended) and how FreshBox Farms' template farm is among the nation's most efficient.