NEW YORK, NY — Bowery Farming, the largest U.S. vertical farming company, announces the continued expansion of its leadership team with the hiring of Robert Ybarra as Director of Business Development, reporting to Elayne Dudley, VP of New Business Development.
Ybarra brings extensive food and produce industry experience in retail, manufacturing, procurement, and distribution to his new role. At Bowery, Ybarra will develop new grocery retailer relationships to further expand access to fresher, safer, pesticide-free Protected Produce with bold flavor in stores across the country.
Robert Ybarra joins Bowery after more than 30 years at HEB, where he was Director of Produce Sales and Merchandising. Most recently, he was Director of Business Development at Villita Avocados, one of the Top 5 importers of Mexican Avocados to the U.S., where he spearheaded new business opportunities with big box retailers. Prior, he was Director of Produce at Rouses, Inc. and Coborn’s Inc.
Ybarra’s leadership has been recognized by The National Grocers Association and he was selected as a Top 25 Industry leader in The Packer, a leading produce-industry publication. A Texas native, Ybarra received his MBA from the University of Texas at Brownsville.
“It’s been an unprecedented time of growth at Bowery as we’ve launched the next chapter in climate-smart agriculture and broken ground on new farms beyond the Northeast,” said Katie Seawell, Chief Commercial Officer at Bowery. “As we continue our national expansion, Robert’s role in expanding retail partnerships will further Bowery’s commitment to reimagine the fresh food supply chain and help build resilient communities with local sources of fresh produce.”
This appointment comes at a time of accelerated growth for Bowery. The company is on track to double its number of farms in 2023 and has doubled revenue for the second year in a row. Bowery is now available in over 1,400 stores and e-commerce partners from Walmart to Whole Foods and Amazon, and continues to be an industry leader with its expansion beyond leafy greens and into new categories of pesticide-free produce including strawberries and salad kits. Bowery is growing food wherever it is needed.
Bowery, the largest vertical farming company in the United States, designs and builds smart indoor environments to reimagine the future of food. Through its network of smart indoor farms and proprietary end-to-end technology, Bowery is transforming the entire fresh food supply chain to be simpler, safer, and vastly more sustainable. Bowery’s farms are 100x+ more productive than traditional agriculture while using a fraction of the resources – all enabled by leading-edge technology.
Bowery is scaling quickly with five farms in operation, including a state-of-the-art R&D and innovation farms for pioneering indoor Agriculture Science, and two commercial farms under development that will more than double the company’s total production by 2023. Bowery’s brand has been in the market since 2016 and is currently sold in over 1,400 locations including Whole Foods, Ahold Delhaize, Amazon, Safeway/Albertsons, and Walmart.