The Association for Vertical Farming (AVF) and the DLG (German Agricultural Society) are planning a strategic partnership to jointly promote indoor/vertical farming in Germany and worldwide. For this purpose, joint platforms for knowledge exchange as well as an industry network are to be created. Project partnerships are also to contribute to the promotion.
Whether urban farming, vertical farming, indoor farming or plant factories, the terms may be different, but the focus remains the same: production of plant-based food in urban areas, spatially limited conditions and in partially closed systems. The production becomes more intensive, because with less space, environmental influences have to be controlled as much as possible. At the same time, the use of water, nutrients and plant protection is reduced as much as possible or sometimes - as in the case of plant protection - completely omitted. This is only possible if diseases and pathogens are kept away from the plants. For example, some systems are hermetically sealed to prevent any entry of undesirable substances. This also means that air supply, water circulation and even lighting control must be technically regulated and managed.
"It is the AVF's goal to promote the sustainable growth and development of the international vertical farming industry and movement. The AVF promotes this through research projects, cooperations, events and the establishment of a network of all actively involved companies, experts and research institutions in the vertical farming industry. With the DLG as an internationally active professional organization and organizer of leading trade fairs and conferences, we are gaining a partner that will anchor the contents and strategies of vertical farming in the international agricultural networks and promote new platforms and channels of professional exchange with agricultural practice," says Christine Zimmermann-Lössl, Chairwoman of the AVF, welcoming the planned cooperation between the two organizations.
"The production of plant-based foods in urban areas represents a global growth market. In Asia, where urbanization is proceeding far more intensively and rapidly than in Europe, such farms are already operating economically. In Europe, especially in Germany, vertical farming applications are still in their infancy. However, Germany is at the forefront of research and is accompanying the trend toward indoor production of specialty crops, decoupled from agricultural land. After all, the latter are limited and continue to decline as a result of alternative uses. So we need to look ahead, from DLG together with our specialist partner the Association for Vertical Farming," says Tobias Eichberg, Managing Director of DLG Exhibitions, describing the prospects for the market of the future.
Networks, information, events
According to the two partners, one focus of the strategic cooperation will be the creation of platforms and networks for joint exchange, as well as the production of regular trade publications and the implementation of surveys among farmers on the state of knowledge and perspectives of indoor/vertical farming. They also plan to jointly develop events as part of existing and new projects. These include AGRITECHNICA ASIA and HORTI ASIA in Bangkok, Thailand; the International Vertical Farming & Food System Conference in Munich, Germany; and other new digital and physical event formats.
First joint event planned
As part of the AGRITECHNICA ASIA/HORTI ASIA digital talks, a first joint AVF and DLG event on "Trends and challenges for Indoor Farming in Asia" is planned for July 29.