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Market Perspectives: Cultivating the Future with Alison Rabschnuk

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Alison Rabschnuk, a veteran in the alternative protein space and now at the helm of business development at Freight Farms, is guiding efforts to integrate food science with sustainable agriculture. Freight Farms, a pioneering company that builds farms out of converted shipping containers, is shaping a healthier and more sustainable food system. In this series, we explore advancements in produce-growing technology and connect these efforts to the ongoing developments in the plant-based food space.

Freight Farms’ Mission

Freight Farms’ approach addresses multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), starting with the urgent issues of land use, biodiversity loss, and water scarcity. Rabschnuk explains, “Our hydroponic technology significantly conserves space and resources. Each Freight Farm occupies only 320 square feet, produces the yield of 2-3 acres of land, and utilizes a mere five gallons of water per day.” This efficient use of resources not only makes agricultural production feasible in extreme climates but also brings food production closer to consumers, drastically reducing food miles and associated carbon emissions.

The resilience of Freight Farms’ technology allows it to operate in temperatures ranging from -40°F to 120°F. “This capability,” Rabschnuk notes, “is crucial for providing agricultural solutions in regions with nonarable land or harsh growing conditions.” By decentralizing food production, Freight Farms empowers urban and suburban communities, particularly food deserts, to cultivate their own fresh produce, enhancing local food security and improving health outcomes.

Next Generation Farming

Beyond environmental sustainability, Freight Farms is also committed to cultivating the next generation of farmers. “The average age of a U.S. farmer is 58, raising concerns about the future of our food supply,” says Rabschnuk. “Our farms attract younger demographics by merging traditional farming with cutting-edge technology.” Educational institutions and youth organizations utilize these farms to train students and young adults, providing hands-on experience in sustainable farming practices.

Connecting Produce-Growing and Alt Protein

Reflecting on her diverse career experiences, from the Good Food Institute to Kerry, and now Freight Farms, Rabschnuk finds common threads. “At first I saw my current role to be quite distinct from those I held in the alternative protein sector, at the Good Food Insitute and Kerry, but over time I’ve come to see some overlap. Besides the obvious connection of our technology increasing access to plant-based food, our Freight Farms can also be an interim solution for farmers looking to transition away from animal agriculture into a more ethical industry without sacrificing profitability,” she shares.

Looking forward, Rabschnuk is optimistic about the scalability and impact of Freight Farms. “With the mobility of our farms, our vision is to enhance global access to fresh produce, secure food supplies, and foster education and employment.”

“We have many institutional customers in the education sector, hospitality, and healthcare and we work with many kinds of nonprofits as well. There are endless opportunities!”

Engage with Alison Rabschnuk

Alison’s work allows us to imagine a world where fresh produce is grown and available everywhere, to be used as an abundant food source and a wholesome ingredient for continued plant-based product innovation.

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Is there is a question or topic you would like to see covered in this series? Email [email protected] with subject line “Market Perspectives”.

About Plant Based World Pulse
Plant Based World Pulse is a go-to resource for the plant-based industry. Offering high-value insights, educational content, and the latest information year-round, it compliments the annual industry events Plant Based World Expo North America in New York City and Plant Based World Expo Europe in London.


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