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Dutch rooftop farm declared bankrupt

When being built it was the largest rooftop farm in Europe. Now the Dutch rooftop farm UF De Schilde has been declared bankrupt. The farm, realised on top of an empty 1950s office block, hasn't been able to compete with the nearby Westland region.

It's 1200 m², fully decked out in double glazing, and the cultivation of lettuce, tomatoes and microgreens in this greenhouse is combined with fish farming. That's how we started the article about the Dutch rooftop farm De Schilde when construction was finalized in 2016. The project was realized by collaboration between UrbanFarmers AG, a private investor and Stimuleringsfonds Volkshuisvesting (SVn: the Dutch Municipalities’ Housing Development Fund).

Back then, the plan was met with great skepticism: the yields of the project would not compete at all with the greenhouses in Westland, only a couple of kilometres nearby.

Greenhouse project
The rooftop farm was an expensive project: the greenhouse has been fully constructed with double glazing – and the inner layer is also layered glass. In order to withstand the wind, a profile was developed in which the glass is anchored with screws. Various glass pane sizes were used in order to distribute the pressure on the construction. The greenhouse itself is divided into two parts – one part for the visitors and a part for cultivation.

The critics have been proven right. Yesterday the impressive project has been declared bankrupt. While the Instagram posts still show how tomatoes, lettuce and eggplants are growing, the web shop is without inventory and the phone of the company is not being answered. With the curator not being able to answer the phone yet the exact cause of the bankruptcy is still unknown, but it has been known in the industry that the company struggled with their crop and getting the needed price for the product.

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