When the pandemic exposed major issues with our lengthy food supply chain — in the form of shipment delays and inadequate demand forecasting — local vertical farms and indoor growing operations (aka controlled environment greenhouses in urban or rural locations) were called upon to fill in the gaps in a way that was unprecedented.

With 2020 in the history books and hopes for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic rising, these companies seek to build on their newfound momentum in 2021. With revenue for vertical farming alone estimated at just $212.4 million in 2019, one forecast calls for the industry to hit $1.38 billion by 2027, a compound annual growth rate of 26.2 percent from 2021 to 2027.

Here are what eight leaders in vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture are planning in the year ahead. The list is presented alphabetically and represents a slice of the marketplace activity cropping up in late 2020.

  1. AeroFarms: AeroFarms’ four New Jersey vertical farms produced 2 million pounds of produce in 2020. And this year that number likely will skyrocket with the company’s April announcement of construction on a 90,000-square-foot indoor vertical farm in Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest vertical farm.
  2. AppHarvest: Appalachian company AppHarvest has launched three controlled environment greenhouses in Kentucky. It chose the state specifically because it’s within a day's drive of 70 percent of the U.S. population.

Read the full list of indoor agriculture companies by Jesse Klein at GreenBiz.