Renewable energy as key to reach Net Zero:

UK investment company announces berry and tomato project

Net Zero is not just about individuals and the choices we make; it is about the systems of production we rely on and take for granted every day. Globally, the food industry creates a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, so it is impossible to move towards a Net Zero future without reimagining our approach to this hugely complex industry. Abundance is an English company that specializes in investments that help grow the green and social economy. For them, agricultural and horticultural solutions are key to helping companies reach Net Zero.

Over the years, they have been engaging with several controlled environment agriculture developers and operators and have raised funds for Global Berry, a strawberry glasshouse developer and operator for a new 3.6 hectare glasshouse project in Lincolnshire that runs on wholly renewable energy. The site will grow UK strawberries to cut food imports outside the UK growing season. Abundance has also raised funds for another Global Berry project, providing LED lighting to one of its existing glasshouses in Somerset to enable strawberries to be grown throughout the year, displacing more imports. This is the first phase of its site improvements in Somerset, enabling year-round production. The second phase will include the installation of a biomass boiler.

Tomato greenhouses
Another project they are working on, is with a tomato glasshouse developer and operator, Sterling Suffolk. They will start to raise funds on Abundance's platform early next year. It is looking to scale up its existing operations by constructing the second phase of its glasshouse site, as well as refinancing existing debt from the first phase of the project. The new hydroponic glasshouse will be 2.8 hectares and will supply over 1,000 tonnes a year of tomatoes for the UK market. They use advanced semi-closed glasshouses to produce fruit with a lower environmental impact than conventional glasshouse technology. This is achieved by using climate corridors on the side walls, which use the evaporation of water to cool the air, and their highly efficient hydroponic growing system minimises use of fertilisers, pesticides, water and other natural resources.

Abundance offers these projects and companies access to short and long-term capital at competitive rates by going directly to the public for investment. In return, their aim is that their growing number of investors can build portfolios that give them a real stake in the future they want to see and a decent return on their money.

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