Agriculture technology company Maui Greens is launching a new retail brand, Colors Living Produce, a unique line of organic leafy greens individually planted, grown, shipped and sold while still growing in soil.
The Kahului-based Maui Greens also is closing on $17 million in financing to scale production and support expansion of the company’s proprietary vertical farming system on Maui and in the continental United States, bringing the total raised to more than $25 million, according to a company press release.
Founder and Chief Technology Officer Kevin Robell and his family built their original farm on Maui in 2011. They were driven by a passion for healthy organic food and the health of the planet.
Realizing there was a need for transformational change to traditional farming practices and the existing produce supply chain, Maui Greens began a decade-long endeavor to develop a new way of farming that minimizes environmental impact and remediates food waste during transportation from the farm to the grocer and once purchased.
“Our plants are nurtured in soil, provided the perfect mix of light, nutrients and water, and shipped growing and thriving until harvested at home,” Robell said. “In Hawai‘i, we are especially aware of precious resources such as arable land and water, and we have made it our mission to grow produce that is naturally organic, longer lasting and lessens the strain on our planet.”
The company’s proprietary vertical indoor growing system and unique soil-based method, the first of its kind in Hawai’i, creates several meaningful advances for the industry, the press release said. The methods include:
- A highly productive system that produces 40 times the crop yield per square foot compared to field grown while using 99% less water.
- Use of automated inspection and artificial intelligence that allows for precise nutrition and efficient resource use in growing the healthiest plants and eliminating contaminants and pathogens inherent in cut and processed crops grown outdoors.
- A unique product that is delivered still living in the soil-filled vessel in which it was grown, enabling consumers to harvest at home as they consume it and enjoy the freshest, tastiest and most nutritious produce available.
- The “living” nature of the plant reduces waste in transit and at home, and allows the plant to thrive, with or without refrigeration, for up to three times longer than cut products.
- No pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or chemicals, animal products or contaminants are involved in the growing process of Colors Living Produce.
Colors Living Produce will be available on shelves in grocery stores across the island of Maui in September, followed by expansion to outer islands in the fall. For more information on Colors Living Produce, please visit colorsproduce.com.