Today, Soli Organic Inc.’s brand-new line of USDA certified organic ‘Indolce’ basil is landing on produce aisle shelves in over 2,000 select stores across more than 15 Mid-Atlantic distribution centers with leading grocery partners including Ahold Giant Stores, Lidl, Walmart, Publix, Whole Foods, Tops Markets, Lowes Foods, Southeastern Grocers/Winn Dixie, Mom’s Organic, Target, and Giant Eagle. Soli Organic (“the Company”), formerly known as Shenandoah Growers, Inc., is the nation’s only soil-based, controlled environment agriculture company delivering 100% USDA certified organic produce to more than 20,000 retail stores nationwide.
Soli Organic’s proprietary soil-based, organic, indoor production system enables the Company to unlock the full value of controlled environment agriculture (CEA), including considerable cost savings and the ability to grow without the use of artificial substrates or expensive synthetic fertilizers, like most of its hydroponic competitors. As a result, ‘Indolce’ basil will be available at nearly a dollar less per ounce on average than field-grown organic produce – for a superior quality product, demonstrating for the first time the true potential of CEA technology.
“We called our new basil ‘Indolce’ because it’s a unique varietal that delivers exactly what consumers dream basil can be: sweet and indulgent, with just a hint of peppery kick. Priced below competitors – for a larger quantity – it delivers on our promise of high-quality organic produce that everyone can afford with a better environmental footprint,” said Matt Ryan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Soli Organic. “To consumers, the organic seal is the trusted gold standard for food they can feel good about. We don’t believe they should ever have to settle for anything less, and with products like our indoor, soil-grown Indolce basil, they don’t have to. We’re proud to bring a premium organic product to market at this price point in the current inflationary environment, and this is one of many new comparably priced products we’ll roll out under the Soli Organic brand in the near future.”
The harvest comes out of the Company’s newly upgraded soil-based indoor farm located in Elkwood, Virginia, just an hour outside of Washington, D.C. The facility has been completely converted into a modern, high-tech controlled environment facility that will supply more than one million pounds of USDA-certified organic herbs and leafy greens each year.
Venture Debt Financing Arrangement to Fund Continued Expansion
The Company today also announced a $50 million financing arrangement with Horizon Technology Finance, a leading venture lending platform focused on technology, life science, healthcare information and services and sustainability companies, and Bridge Bank, a leading financial resource to innovative companies nationwide. The new joint relationship provides Soli with expanded capital, a key component of the Company’s strategy to further grow production capacity to meet rising demand.
“Soli Organic’s advanced solutions and environmentally conscious approach to controlled environment agriculture are bringing game-changing innovation to our food system, and ensuring produce is grown in ways that are more efficient, sustainable and resilient to climate impacts,” said Gerald A. Michaud, President of Horizon. “We are excited to support Soli as it accelerates its indoor farming capacity and deploys next-generation BioFarms across a national platform of operations.”
“As a company with 30 years of outdoor farming experience, it’s exciting to see Soli Organic’s highly successful transition toward indoor soil-based controlled environment agriculture,” said Brian McCabe, senior director in Bridge Bank’s Washington, D.C.-based Technology Banking Group. “We’re pleased to support the incredible new sustainable growing methods they are developing to bring affordable organic produce to market.”
Today’s announcement comes amid Soli Organic’s accelerating growth and follows the recent announcement of a $120 million financing arrangement with leading real estate development firm Decennial Group. The Elkwood farm is one of seven facilities in operation today. The Company intends to have a total of 15 soil-based indoor farms in strategic locations across the United States, including two facilities currently under construction in Anderson County, South Carolina, and Marysville, Washington.