SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Sept. 30, 2014—Plantronics Inc. (NYSE: PLT) is pioneering the use of on-site food production to boost employee nutrition as part of the company’s global commitment to sustainability. Through a joint project with Santa Cruz-based Cityblooms, a prototype computer-automated farm has been installed at the Plantronics headquarters and is being powered by the company’s existing solar energy system.
“Using the power of cloud computing, the Cityblooms mobile user-interface gives the farmer remote command and control power while also keeping track of important crop data and operational records.”
The hydroponic micro-farm produces bi-weekly harvests of premium leafy greens and vegetables for the on-site cafe operated by Bon Appetit Management Company, a national leader in socially and environmentally responsible food service. “By locating these micro-farms close to the point of consumption, we measure farm-to-fork distances in yards, rather than miles,” said Nick Halmos, Cityblooms founder. “We eliminate the financial and environmental costs associated with food waste and food transportation.”
“We all know that fresher produce definitely tastes better,” said Ken Kannappan, President and CEO of Plantronics. “But the benefits include better nutrition for our employees. Store-bought lettuce, for example, can lose up to half its Vitamin C in the average of five days it takes from harvest to home. Just as important, we save more than 10,000 gallons of water annually through Cityblooms’ recirculation system, while eliminating environmental contamination from fertilizer run off. Our relationship with Cityblooms has helped Plantronics operate conscientiously in a way that is consistent with our values and commitment to the environment.”
In response to the increasing challenge of making quality food accessible in urban centers, Cityblooms has spent a decade developing its patent-pending, innovative technology. The company has focused on urban farming solutions that are modular, lightweight, efficient to operate, and that can be easily replicated on rooftops and in other underutilized spaces, the approach is made possible through advanced technology. “Using the power of the Web, cloud computing, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensor networks, Cityblooms represents the future of urban farming,” said Halmos.
This year, Bon Appetit is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its Farm to Fork program, through which all of its chefs are required to purchase at least 20 percent of their ingredients from small farms located within 150 miles of their kitchens. “I’m excited to see this partnership between our chefs and Cityblooms grow at Plantronics,” said Bon Appetit CEO Fedele Bauccio. “Combining cutting-edge growing technology and fresh, delicious greens sounds like a winning recipe to me.”
The inspiration for Cityblooms grew out of a desire to provide sustainably grown food to an expanding population. Using proprietary technology, Cityblooms creates computer-automated micro-farms that turn under-used spaces into highly productive agricultural hubs. With our resource efficient farming techniques that eliminate the financial and environmental costs of food miles and food waste, we provide communities with easy and affordable access to fresh produce. More details at www.cityblooms.com.
Plantronics is a global leader in audio communications for businesses and consumers. Plantronics has pioneered new trends in audio technology, creating innovative products that allow people to simply communicate. From unified communication to Bluetooth® headsets to gaming solutions, Plantronics delivers uncompromising quality, an ideal experience, and extraordinary service. Plantronics is used by every company in the Fortune 100™, as well as 911 dispatch, air traffic control and various mission-critical applications for those on the frontline. For more information, please visit www.plantronics.com
Plantronics is a trademark of Plantronics, Inc. registered in the US and other countries. The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Plantronics is under license. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
About Bon Appetit Management Company
Bon Appetit Management Company (@bamco) is an on-site restaurant company offering full food-service management to corporations, universities, and specialty venues. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Bon Appetit has more than 500 cafes in 32 states. In addition to Plantronics, its Bay Area clients include Google, Electronic Arts, the University of San Francisco, and the Exploratorium. All Bon Appetit food is cooked from scratch, including sauces, stocks, and soups. A pioneer in environmentally sound sourcing policies, Bon Appetit has developed programs addressing local purchasing, the overuse of antibiotics, sustainable seafood, the food and climate change connection, humanely raised meat and eggs, and farmworker welfare. It has received numerous awards for its work, from organizations including the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program, International Association of Culinary Professionals, the James Beard Foundation, Chefs Collaborative, Natural Resources Defense Council, Seafood Choices Alliance, The Humane Society of the United States, and Food Alliance. For more information, please visit www.bamco.com.