Cleburne-based Eden Green Technology broke ground on its $40 million Phase 2 expansion of its Cleburne campus and announced that Will Parkey has joined the company as chief financial officer.
Eden Green, a next-generation indoor vertical farming company, said the expansion is aimed at scaling commercial production to meet rising market demand.
“Extreme weather events, an unstable market, and an ever-rising demand for fresh, affordable produce year-round has created a perfect storm in our food supply chain. Eden Green was founded to solve these challenges and this next phase of growth is a critical steppingstone,” CEO Eddy Badrina said in a statement. “Bringing on an executive with such deep experience in strategic growth, while simultaneously expanding our capacity, will dramatically accelerate our ability to deliver accessible, delicious produce to the average consumer.”
In February, we told you why Badrina pointed out that “If you’re in Boston or New York, chances are you’re going to be eating a 3,000-mile salad.”
Improving efficiency while reducing impact
Eden Green said it’s pioneering a hybrid approach to controlled environment agriculture that combines vertical farming within a greenhouse to increase yield and improve efficiency.
By leveraging patented hydroponic technology, the company uses 95% less electricity than indoor farms, and is able to price lettuce at up to $2 less per head compared to its greenhouse and vertical farm competitors.
Eden Green said it plans to build a network of 20 greenhouses across the nation over the next five years.
The company said it broke ground this month on two additional greenhouses in Cleburne that are expected to open in early 2025 and create 100 new jobs.
The two greenhouses are expected to triple the company’s growing capacity and enable the further development of “innovative technologies that improve efficiency, reduce impact, and extend freshness.”
Once the greenhouses are operational, Eden Green said it will be able to produce just under 6 million pounds of lettuce per year on its Cleburne campus.
‘A strong foundation for rapid growth’
As CFO, Parkey is responsible for leading financial operations and driving the company’s strategic expansion.
He brings more than 10 years of experience in financial management and strategic growth, having held CFO roles at Amtel, one of the largest operators of T-Mobile retail stores, and Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co., the producers of TX Whiskey and TX Bourbon.
Prior to holding executive roles, Parkey worked in private equity and investment banking, Eden Green said.
Parkey has a proven track record of positioning companies for growth, including executing five add-on acquisitions while at Amtel, growing the company’s store base from 150 to over 300 before guiding it through a merger with the largest legacy Sprint operating partner in 2023.
At Firestone & Robertson, Parkey played a critical role in growing the company until it was successfully acquired by Pernod Ricard in 2019.
At Eden Green, the company said that Parkey will focus on optimizing economic efficiency of its existing greenhouse operations while positioning the company for expansion throughout the country.
“This is an exciting time to join Eden Green. Controlled environment agriculture is beginning to find its footing, and the market demand for sustainable, safe and affordable produce year-round is only continuing to grow,” Parkey said in a statement. “Eden Green has combined proprietary technology with a unique distribution model to create a strong foundation for rapid growth within this emerging space. As the company enters this new phase, I look forward to driving strategic development and helping advance Eden Green’s incredible mission.”
Eden Green said its facilities are located within one mile of major retail distribution centers, enabling 48-hour delivery from greenhouse to store and a 95% reduction in transportation miles.
The company supplies 2 million pounds of produce a year to multiple retailers across the nation, including to more than 400 Walmarts in Texas and Oklahoma through white-label and private-label offerings.
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