Crop One Solidifies Global Presence with Dubai Office

Ming Zhu, Regional Development Manager, Relocates to Dubai

San Mateo, California, UNITED STATES

SAN MATEO, Calif., Feb. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Crop One Holdings (“Crop One” or “the Company”), the world’s largest vertical farm operator through its FreshBox Farms brand, today announced the opening of a new regional office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The new office is part of Crop One’s plans to strengthen the Company’s global presence and lay the foundations for a long-term expansion strategy.

The opening of Crop One’s Dubai office follows the Company’s June 2018 announcement of a $40 million Joint Venture with Emirates Flight Catering to build the world’s largest vertical farming facility in Dubai. The 130,000 square foot-controlled environment facility will produce three US tons (6,000 pounds or 2,700 kg) of high-quality, herbicide- and pesticide-free leafy greens, harvested daily, using 99 percent less water than outdoor fields. Construction begins in the second quarter 2019 and first products will be delivered to Emirates’ customers, including 105 airlines and 25 airport lounges, in December 2019.

Coinciding with the Dubai office opening, Ming Zhu, Regional Development Manager for Crop One, has relocated from the Company’s headquarters in San Mateo, California to Dubai. His presence will boost Crop One’s ability to conduct business in and expand within the MENA and APAC regions. Originally from China, Zhu has a global mindset, the ability to adapt quickly, and the intelligence to lead a diverse team.  Zhu spearheads Crop One’s business analytics and market research efforts for the U.S. and the APAC regions as well as supports the Company’s multimillion-dollar fundraises at the corporate and project level. Prior to Crop One, Zhu was a member of the Commercial and Labor & Employment Litigation team at Seyfarth Shaw LLP's Boston office, providing legal analysis and supporting attorneys across the country on high-profile litigation cases. He earned his undergraduate degree in Economics and Music from Wesleyan University where he graduated with high honors, and he holds a Master's in Management, focused on Entrepreneurship and Business Administration, from Babson College's F.W. OLIN Graduate School of Business.

“Opening an office in Dubai is the next logical step to expanding our international presence and further solidifying our relationship with Emirates,” said Sonia Lo, Chief Executive Officer of Crop One Holdings. “Ming brings a wealth of global strategy and business development experience to Crop One, and it is great to have him in Dubai full time to manage our day-to-day operations on a real-time basis.”

The UAE imports an estimated 85% of its food needs. Less than five percent of the region’s land is considered arable, costing the UAE upwards of $3 billion per year. Hyper-productive indoor vertical farms built close to the point of consumption, such as the one being constructed by the Emirates Crop One Joint Venture, are a major step forward for the region to secure its own supply of leafy greens, while significantly reducing the UAE’s environmental footprint. The UAE is actively encouraging agricultural innovation as a means to improve the region’s self-sufficiency. In July, the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment agreed to establish 12 vertical farms in the city of Dubai, allocating 7,600 square metres of land to the growing industry.

“Enhancing Dubai’s food safety and security efforts have never been more important than now,” said Ming Zhu, Regional Development Manager for Crop One. “I am very honored to represent Crop One in the region and serve at the forefront of the UAE’s efforts to gain agricultural self-sufficiency through the expansion of vertical farming.”

Crop One is the only vertical farmer with a proven model at-scale. The Company’s brand, FreshBox Farms, has been in commercial production longer than any other vertical farmer in North America. Using advanced, soilless hydroponic growing technology and proprietary plant science, Crop One grows clean, nutritional, tasty and pesticide-free leafy greens in sustainable, modular enclosures. FreshBox Farms’ leafy greens offer unmatched health benefits and freshness year-round, and, as a result of the Company’s superior capital efficiency, Crop One is able to produce the highest quality greens at 25% to 50% of the cost and at 20% to 60% higher yields than any other major vertical farm operator.

Zhu will be speaking at the AFTI Middle East Conference on February 18th in Dubai in a session entitled, “The investment wave into vertical farming and aquaculture - the new frontiers of agriculture.” For more information, please visit the conference’s website.

About Crop One Holdings

San Mateo, California-based Crop One Holdings is a vertical farming holding company for two subsidiaries – FreshBox Farms, Millis, Mass., and a joint venture with Emirates Flight Catering, Dubai South, United Arab Emirates. Crop One has been in commercial production longer than any other vertical farmer in North America. It produces the highest crop yield per square foot, at 25% to 50% the capital cost of any vertical farm, due to its unique combination of proprietary technology platform and best-in-class plant science. For more information on Crop One or vertical farming, please visit the Company website at or follow FreshBox Farms on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram for the latest company news.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Kimberly Esterkin
Phone: 310-622-8235

Debbie Douglas
Phone: 949-375-3436

Crop One