The chief executive officer of South Bend-based Pure Green Farms says the business model is all about disruption of the food chain. Joe McGuire’s team is using some of the most advanced technology in the world to create sustainable leafy green production in a year-round, indoor farm.
“You’ve got these legacy supply chains out there, that have been in existence for a long, long time. And businesses just depend on them,” said McGuire during the Ag+Bio+Science podcast presented by AgriNovus Indiana. “This business was designed to disrupt that by saying, ‘Hey, we think we can do it better. And we can produce a better product. And we can, we can be more sustainable and easier on the environment.’”
Pure Green Farms consists of a four-acre hydroponic indoor farm where the company is growing pesticide-free greens in a fully automated operation.
McGuire says technology is used to manage all aspects of the operation, including climate, irrigation and temperature.
“You don’t have interaction of human beings with the lettuce. You have human beings driving the system, but they’re not having to handle it,” McGuire said to Inside INdiana Business and podcast host Gerry Dick.
McGuire says the company selected South Bend because of its location in the Midwest, giving Pure Green market access to multiple metropolitan areas, including Chicago where the leafy greens are entering the retail space.
“We’re also having a lot of really good conversations with foodservice companies and directly with restaurants and once these people eat the lettuce, I’m just amazed at the reaction,” said McGuire. “I’ve been in this business for 32 years and I get excited about lettuce and I’ve never been more excited with a product as this one, so it’s really fun.”
You can listen to Gerry Dick’s full conversation with McGuire on the brand-new episode of the Ag+Bio+Science podcast on Monday morning. Click here to learn more about the full lineup of Inside INdiana Business podcasts.
In March, McGuire was a guest on Inside INdiana Business TV. Watch the interview in the video below.