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"The sky is not the limit for Koppert"

The ground-breaking ceremony for the largest and highest urban farm in Europe took place on a lofty rooftop overlooking the city of The Hague this week. Wielding a symbolic spade some seven floors above the ground, Koppert’s Sales Manager the Netherlands, Maren Schoormans, said it was a good opportunity to create awareness of biological solutions and modern food production methods amongst city dwellers.

In November last year, KBS entered into a collaboration with Urban Farmers GA, private investors, the municipality of The Hague, and the Stimuleringsfonds Volkshuisvesting (the Dutch Municipalities’ Housing Development Fund). Located in one of The Hague’s signature buildings, UF002 De Schilde is the former Philips Telecommunication factory. The classic building has been standing almost vacant for some time and will now be re-purposed into a multi-story urban farming enterprise. Dubbed the ‘Times Square of Urban Farming’, the urban farm will span two floors and use the UF System for sustainable production of vegetables and fish. The rooftop area will house a 1200m² greenhouse and will eventually produce some 45 tons of tomatoes, salad, herbs and other vegetables per year. The first yield is expected in April next year. A 370m² indoor fish farm will take up much of the 6th floor and 250m² has been reserved for integrated processing and packaging. Tours of the urban farm will be conducted for the public next year.

‘We are excited to be paving the way for more sustainable and commercially viable urban farms,’ said Managing Director of Urban Farmers Benelux, Mark Durno, at the ground-breaking ceremony.

‘Changing the industry and making a paradigm shift are two characteristics which are deeply rooted in Koppert’s DNA,’ comments Maren Schoormans. ‘Our philosophy has a perfect match with that of UF and our products clearly contribute to UF’s mission to produce clean, healthy fish and vegetables. Another important reason is that working with the UF team is fun and stimulates our creativity,’ Schoormans adds with a grin.

‘We welcome exposure for Koppert and the spinoff of good ideas, and maybe even new business ventures. In the food awareness trend and urban food movement, the emphasis is on organic growing and traditional farming methods. This is fine, but we also need to show the world that excellent and healthy food can be produced locally by using today’s and tomorrow’s technology,’ concludes Schoormans.

At the ground-breaking ceremony for Europe’s biggest rooftop urban farm:

From left to right: Maren Schoormans, Koppert’s Sales Manager the Netherlands; Peter Jens, Koppert’s Director of Strategic Alliances; Richard Luijges, Director Stichting Stimuleringsfonds Volkshuisvesting Nederlandse Gemeenten; Sil Mantel, Project Leader and Architect, Space & Matter Architects; Mark Durno, Managing Director Urban Farmers Benelux; and Joris Wijsmuller, Alderman the Municipality of The Hague.

For more information:
Koppert Biological Systems
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