Real Leaf Farm receives significant endorsement by Just Transition Commission through the award of €1 million in grants. "This our role in creating a green and sustainable economy for the Midlands," the team says.
RLF is a new agri-tech company which will be Ireland’s first 100% hydroponic farm, growing salad vegetable produce, 365 days a year. "This is smart farming for a sustainable planet in the 21st century," they say. The first site is planned for the Midlands partnering with Bord na Móna. RLF will repurpose underutilized buildings and to build a new, state of the art, glasshouse thereby reusing and conserving old buildings and bringing jobs back into the peatlands community.
With these plans, Real Leaf Farm (RLF) is selected as one of the key projects in the Midlands under the Just Transition Fund (JFT). The JFT awarded projects that represented innovative and inspiring plans for the Midlands and who are committed to creating a green and sustainable economy for the region.
Speaking at the launch, Real Leaf Farm CEO, Karen Hennessy said “RLF is developing a scalable sustainable business - generating income, creating jobs, providing innovative solutions to food production and supporting Midland communities while aligning to the region’s natural strengths in horticulture. The award today of €1 million is a significant endorsement by the government of these plans and I would like to sincerely thank the Just Transition Commission and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communication.”
Commenting on the grant award, Eddie Kilbane, Founder of Real Leaf Farm said “the development of Sustainable Smart Hydroponic Farming, in Ireland as a whole, will play an important role in social well-being and strengthen self-sufficiency, by diminishing risks connected to the reliance on the global food production system, and long delivery chains; thus creating more resilient communities.”
"Through our unique Agri-Tech Solution, RLF has total control over variables like climate and light and uses significantly less land and water compared to conventional outdoor farming. By combining cutting edge technology and design with optimal agriculture methods, RLF is making fresh, nutrient-rich, and tasty food accessible locally, throughout the year, whilst minimizing wastage, excessive transport and ensuring food security," they say. "There is a unique opportunity to be first to market, in a growing sector, through import substitution and the development of a more efficient and sustainable farming model. This project will deliver direct and indirect employment for transition impacted communities, providing sustainable, safe and secure food for local supply. It is also a Brexit solution provider as most of our imports are currently traveling through the UK land bridge."