The Controlled Environment Agriculture Food Safety Coalition (CEA Food Safety Coalition) was founded in 2019 to develop industrywide food safety standards for indoor leafy greens growers. Now known as the CEA Alliance, the organization is expanding its mission to serve the broader needs of all controlled environment food growers.
With a new name and mission, the CEA Alliance will expand its membership to serve growers delivering fresh fruits and vegetables to consumers, with the aim of reducing environmental impact and employing the most rigorous practices to ensure food safety. Members include a wide variety of both indoor vertical farms and greenhouse growers. The Board of Directors of the CEA Alliance includes:
- Marc Oshima, Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at AeroFarms
- Katie Seawell, Chief Commercial Officer at Bowery Farming
- Tim Cunniff, Co-founder and Executive Vice President of Sales at Little Leaf Farms
- Todd Linsky of Superior Fresh/TLC
- Dinesh Babu, Vice President of Food Safety and Compliance at Revol Greens
- Matt Lingard, Vice President for Agriculture and Science at Bright Farms
- Dan Malech, Senior Vice President of Strategy and General Counsel at Plenty
The CEA Alliance will continue its support of unique food safety standards for indoor-grown produce, and will expand its portfolio of services to include strong public policy advocacy, support for sustainability and climate-smart agriculture, and assistance for retail and foodservice companies delivering differentiated produce to consumers.
Controlled environment growers employ a variety of agricultural production methods and technology to create optimal growing conditions, including indoor vertical farms and glass greenhouses with environmental controls. Growers utilize innovative technologies such as hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaponics, and soil-based systems to grow a wide variety of specialty crops. Controlled environment produce is a distinct and rapidly growing category, offering benefits to consumers, the environment, communities, and the overall agricultural food system.
The CEA Alliance will work to establish consistent metrics for measuring and communicating the key benefits of controlled agriculture, in collaboration with stakeholders and in compliance with existing global standards. The metrics will be measurable, transparent, and verifiable, allowing companies to communicate credibly with consumers and other stakeholders about their operations.
The CEA Alliance previously worked with a retail advisory committee, but will now add a new membership category for retail and foodservice companies. Existing membership categories include CEA growers, business service providers, government, and academic researchers.
Additionally, the CEA Alliance recently supported the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture in adopting a policy position in support of investment in CEA. The association will host its first federal public policy meeting in February 2023 in Washington, DC to brief policymakers about opportunities in the 2023 Farm Bill and future legislation to support consumers through CEA.