A vision to feed Britain in a more resilient and sustainable way lies behind multimillion-pound plans to create the world’s largest vertical farm, which has been launched by green energy expert and Fischer Farms CEO, Tristan Fischer.
Fischer Farms already has one of the UK’s largest vertical farm operations in Lichfield, where it grows a range of shortleaf products via a stacked, biosecure, climate-controlled, and fully automated system. It has now unveiled plans for a new £25 million plant in Norfolk, which is set to become the world’s largest vertical farm and blaze a trail for a scalable and more sustainable food production industry.
This second vertical farm will create 25,000 m2 of growing space – enough to supply 6.5 tonnes of leaf salad, leafy herbs, and other fresh produce to UK supermarkets every day. The investment will allow Fischer Farms to employ, train and upskill the labor force, ensuring longevity for this sustainable business model.
Fischer Farms has secured backing for the new Norfolk site from Gresham House – an asset management company specializing in investments with a sustainable, positive impact.
He said: “Fischer Farms is the future of farming; fresh food production and food supply chains in this country. Our plans use the very latest vertical farming innovations, technology, and 100% renewable energy to enable us to farm more responsibly, sustainably, and more productively in order to feed a growing population. As our production process is strictly controlled, we will also be able to guarantee a consistently higher quality, fresher tasting end product.
Fully automated growing
Fischer Farms uses data analytics tools to optimize its fully automated growing, harvesting, and reseeding systems. The business also boasts enviable green credentials. It uses energy-efficient LED lighting which allows the lights to be very close to the tops of plants due to their low heat production. This in turn enables tightly stacked layers. There is no impact on the surrounding countryside from topsoil erosion or chemical run-off associated with traditional farms while the solar-powered facilities ensure a low carbon footprint.
Over the next 10-15 years, Fischer Farms plans to scale up its operation and reduce its cost base to enable it to grow soya beans, rice, and wheat in significant volumes and at price points that compare favorably to global commodity prices.
Tristan added: “Food supply chains and our planet are both under enormous strain. The Fischer Farms vision is to change the world by working with Nature 24 hours a day, every day of the year, to produce the freshest, safest, and highest quality British-grown produce all year round in the most environmentally sustainable way.”
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