A recent Bloomberg article notes that Wendy’s Co. is trying to shift more of its U.S. lettuce supply to greenhouses amid climate change and bad weather that is affecting the crop’s quality and availability.
“We are seeing more extreme weather events,” says Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer Liliana Esposito. “It’s really about supply assurance, that you can create a more stable, less volatile supply.”
Crops grown outdoors are experiencing more weather-related disruptions, she says, adding that California wildfires have resulted in lettuce that can’t be used due to ash. Sufficient water access and extreme temperatures are also problems for outdoor crops, she said, while produce grown indoors has less risk of contamination.
The fast-food company already uses tomatoes from hydroponic greenhouses in North America. Wendy’s has also shifted its Canadian lettuce supply indoors in the past several years. But the U.S. lacks capacity right now, according to Esposito. The company is looking for new lettuce growers to diversify its supplier base.
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