St. Petersburg, Fla. — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced on Thursday that Lykes Bros. Inc., one of Florida’s largest landowning agribusinesses, will invest in Brick Street Farms, a hydroponic vertical agriculture company.
The two Tampa Bay companies were introduced through the Florida-Israel Agriculture Innovation Summit last November, hosted by Commissioner Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Brick Street Farms, based in St. Petersburg, designs and manufactures vertical farms inside upcycled shipping containers, and is the only-female led company in the world that uses their containers for financial sustainability, with a mission to bring mass food production to the point of consumption. The future Brick Street Farms hubs will grow up to 20 acres of farmland each on one-third of a parking lot. Each climate-controlled farm container will be fully sustainable, solar powered and use a fully recycled reclaimed water system.
Lykes Bros. Inc., founded in 1900 and based in Tampa, holds over 600,000 acres of land in multiple states, and is a diversified agribusiness in citrus production, cattle, forestry, land and water resources, and other farming operations. With the investment from Lykes Bros., Brick Street Farms will further develop their first-of-their-kind cultivation hubs that will be located in urban communities.
“I’m so excited for these two phenomenal companies working to advance agritechnology and agribusiness in Florida, and thrilled that we helped bring them together through our binational innovation summit last year,” said Commissioner Nikki Fried. “This is a perfect example of how government can facilitate business development while serving the greater good in our communities. Lykes Bros.’ investment in Brick Street Farms will help fight food deserts and food insecurity in urban locations, will bring farm-to-fork produce closer to more people, and will bring cutting-edge agritechnology to everyone. I thank Lykes Bros. for their experience and investment, Brick Street Farms for their passion and innovation, and Mayor Kriseman and Mayor Castor for helping celebrate this winning combination for Tampa Bay and all of Florida.”