Fischer Farms’ vision of transforming farming through Agro Science, big data, and environmental activism, has come one step closer, following the launch of its revolutionary new vertical farm.
Based in Lichfield, the operation will be one of the UK’s largest vertical farms, providing a sustainable alternative to field-grown crops.
The farm will grow a wide range of short leaf products, such as rocket, watercress, chard, basil, dill, and parsley, via a stacked, biosecure, climate-controlled and fully automated system.
The groundbreaking environment will operate 365 days a year, providing yields 250 times greater than conventional farms. It will enable Fischer Farms to produce hundreds of harvests annually, compared with the typical five or six harvests typical of a field-grown environment, all achieved without the use of any pesticides, herbicides or insecticides.
Safeguarding the planet
The world currently faces an unsustainable future when it comes to food production. With a growing population and finite natural resources, strains on traditional farming threaten to overwhelm the planet.
With an urgent need to find new ways of feeding the population, in a more resilient and sustainable way, Fischer Farms will use the very latest vertical farming innovations, pioneering technology and 100% renewable energy to enable it to farm more responsibly.
Investing in innovation
Throughout the facility, Fischer Farms will use data analytics to optimise its fully automated growing, harvesting and reseeding systems. This will ensure that its crops receive the perfect mix of light, nutrients, and water to enable them to thrive, 365 days per year.
The site will also use energy-efficient LED lighting, which allows the lights to be placed very close to the plants, maximising space with tightly stacked layers.
By maximising the use of land, Fischer Farms can achieve significantly more harvests per year needing a much smaller space. This not only allows the team to safeguard the planet’s natural habitats, but it also delivers a ‘load-balance’ in food production, by freeing up arable land for crops that cannot yet be grown using vertical farming methods.
The solar-powered facilities will ensure a low carbon footprint, and there will be no impact on the surrounding countryside from issues such as topsoil erosion or chemical run-off, which are typically associated with traditional farming methods.
Championing UK farming
All of Fischer Farms’ produce will be grown locally in the UK. The product stays fresher for longer with no need to pre-rinse, slashing food miles with its shorter ‘farm to fork’ times.
The investment will also provide a welcome boost for the economy, with the opportunity to employ, train and upskill a local labour force. This will support local employment levels and facilitate longevity of this sustainable business model.
By investing in innovative farming methods, and reducing the world’s reliance on natural resources, Fischer Farms can set the standards for a scalable and more sustainable food industry.