The green energy experts behind the world’s largest vertical farm have broken ground, marking a major milestone in the development of the revolutionary facility.
Fischer Farms, which already operates one of the largest vertical farms in the UK, has started construction at its 4-acre site in Norfolk, which will house 25,000 m2 of growing space – enough to supply 6.5 tonnes of leaf salad, leafy herbs and other fresh produce to UK supermarkets and other customers every day.
The ground-breaking farm will boast the latest vertical farming innovations and pioneering technology and will run on 100% renewable energy to significantly reduce its carbon footprint.
The highly automated, bio secure, climate-controlled environment will use an energy-efficient LED lighting system, which allows the lights to be placed very close to the plants. This in turn enables tightly stacked layers, maximising the use of land and delivering yields up to 250 times greater than conventional farms.
Fischer Farms will use advanced data analytics tools to optimise its fully automated growing, harvesting and reseeding systems. All crops will be grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides, ensuring the highest quality fresh produce. Operations will have no impact on the surrounding countryside from issues typically associated with traditional farming, such as topsoil erosion or chemical run-off.
Following a £26m investment earlier this year from sustainable asset management firm, Gresham House, the site will be completed in 2022.
It will be run by a highly skilled workforce, who all share the same vision of feeding a soaring population without exhausting Earth’s finite resources. Investment in extensive training and upskilling of team members will allow for an innovative working environment offering many efficiencies.
Over the next 10-15 years, Fischer Farms plans to scale up its operation and reduce its cost base to enable it to ultimately grow soya beans, rice, and wheat in significant volumes and at price points that compare favourably to global commodity prices.
With a vision to feed the world in a more resilient and sustainable manner, the new site will set the standard in vertical farming and set the pace for a scalable and more sustainable food production industry.
With a proven track record in green energy and vertical farming, and with the backing of Gresham House, Fischer Farms is set to achieve its goal of transforming the future of farming.