Aerofarm, a leading indoor vertical farming company, has announced that it will be laying off a significant number of employees who support farm operations at its Newark, New Jersey location. In an email sent by the CEO, David Rosenberg, to the company’s employees, he shared that the Newark farm would be transitioning from commercial production to exclusively focusing on research and development. As a result, many employees’ current roles will be eliminated by July 31, 2023.
According to the email, impacted employees have been offered a relocation package to work in Danville, Virginia, where the company’s focus will be on utilizing the latest technology efficiencies and farm design. Additionally, some team members have been offered a position at the Newark location to join the R&D Operations workforce or other areas.
This decision was not taken lightly, and the company has been working closely with impacted employees throughout the day to provide support throughout this time. Over the coming months, the company will also be working with employees to offer outplacement support, including resume reviews, interview preparation, and reference letters. Impacted employees are also eligible for separation pay and financial support for continuing healthcare coverage.
While the announcement may come as a shock to the employees impacted, Rosenberg emphasized that this decision would not change the status of the company’s business operations or its strategy. The company remains focused on ramping up operations in Danville to support its growing customer base. Additionally, the company remains committed to Newark as its global headquarters and will look for ways to continue to invest in the community. The company also plans to increase R&D activity in the 212 Rome Street grow room, with plans to expand with additional R&D programs in the warehouse space in the future.
The CEO acknowledged the contributions of the Newark farm team to the company’s success and thanked them for their support. He also encouraged all team members across the organization to continue to support their colleagues during this time and uphold the company’s C2A2RE principles in showing respect towards all.
This announcement is a reminder of the challenges that companies face as they adapt to changing market conditions and prioritize their business operations. However, the way in which Aerofarm has approached this difficult decision by offering support and opportunities for impacted employees reflects the company’s values and commitment to its workforce.