S3E28: Robert Laing - Farms of the Future
Vertical Farming PodcastMarch 29, 2021x
28
00:59:4154.67 MB

S3E28: Robert Laing - Farms of the Future

Episode Summary

Join Harry Duran, host of Vertical Farming Podcast, as he welcomes to the show founder, leader and author, Robert Laing. Rob is the Founder and CEO at Farm.One, an organization that has reinvented specialty farming, and now supplies some of the best chefs in New York. In this episode, Harry and Rob discuss Rob’s background in design and how Rob’s entrepreneurial drive led him to launch Farm.One. Rob talks about how the pandemic impacted his business and how he was able to pivot to different business models to combat those challenges. Rob shares the work he and his organization are doing to help underrepresented groups as well as the work they’re doing with Google to address sustainability.

Episode Sponsor

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Key Takeaways

  • 03:22 – Harry welcomes to the show Rob Laing, Founder and CEO of Farm.One, who talks about his roots and his passion for food
  • 13:56 – Rob speaks to his background in design and his entrepreneurial spirit
  • 18:54 – The origin story of Farm.One
  • 25:10 – Rob talks about the strategic decision to pursue higher end restaurants as customers
  • 27:57 – What Rob would do differently about building Farm.One if given the chance
  • 31:49 – Rob speaks to the incredible response he’s received on his products from New York City chefs
  • 37:10 – Rob shares sustainability work he’s been doing with Google to address plastics in the environment
  • 40:35 – Challenges Rob and his organization had to overcome amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and how the pandemic changed his business approach
  • 54:00 – Rob speaks to what inspired him to start his podcast and what excites him about future initiatives of Farm.One
  • 56:35 – Harry thanks Rob for joining the show and let’s listeners know where they can connect with him

Tweetable Quotes

“There’s so much creativity around food in New York City.” (13:38)

“Design is often about defining the problem that you want to solve rather than rushing ahead and doing the perfect sketch. Discovering what are we really trying to do here and trying to think through in a thoughtful way is something that designers do really well. And I really enjoy that part of the practice.” (16:25)

“I really couldn’t really see how you could make this business work if you’re just growing leafy greens and selling them in a supermarket.” (21:21)

“The idea was to just test things out really small. Can we grow stuff that tastes good? Can we get people excited about that flavor? Can we sell it for a price that might possibly mean we make money? Can we deliver it? That sort of stuff.” (24:49)

“All chefs have different tastes. But, the people who are operating with the highest standards are desperate for good, reliable ingredients. It’s their Holy Grail.” (26:49)

“I do some work with Google on a sustainability-focused angle. And what that led me to was to learn more about plastics and plastics in the environment.” (37:31)

“We try to support businesses of color. We try to support underrepresented groups. And we try to support good social impact causes.” (46:26)

Links Mentioned

Farm.One Website

Farm.One Instagram

Rob’s LinkedIn

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