Resource Innovation Institute (RII) and FarmTech Society have announced a new partnership to support Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) producers. RII is a not-for-profit organization specializing in energy and water benchmarking, while FarmTech Society is an international non-profit sectoral association supporting the CEA industry.
The partnership will promote the importance of benchmarking to demonstrate the climate-smart value of greenhouse and indoor farming. In particular, the organizations will emphasize the need for accurate data collection to create a complete snapshot of CEA practices and their benefits. By doing so, they hope to build on existing benchmarking initiatives sponsored by the USDA and the EU Green Deal Infrastructure Strategy.
The two organizations will also advocate global benchmarking standards in controlled environment agriculture. This will help create a common framework for measuring energy and water use in the industry, enabling better comparison and optimization of operations.
“Those of us working in CEA must take the initiative to develop best practices to address the ongoing challenges of resource management and consumption,” said Thomas Zöellner, Secretary General of Farm Tech Society. “This cooperative effort between two like-minded organizations will be a great step toward recognizing the sector’s need to identify the data metrics and agreeable benchmarks to develop the tools necessary to support and propel the CEA industry forward.”
In addition, the partnership aims to develop resources and programs for workforce development in the CEA sector. This will involve connecting environmental, societal, and governance (ESG) reporting conducted by CEA operations to workforce development, enabling better support and training for workers in the industry.
The collaboration between RII and the FarmTech Society is expected to play a critical role in supporting the sustainable development of the CEA industry. By promoting best practices in the industry and connecting ESG reporting to workforce development, the two organizations aim to drive the industry toward a more sustainable future.