Infarm has signed a contract for a new Growing Centre in Bedford which will measure 9,760 sqm in size, offering more than 5500 sqm of growing space in Infarm’s cloud-connected farming units.
Jeremy Byfleet, UK Country Director at Infarm, said: “Infarm has a clear goal to expand in the UK market. Our second UK Growing Centre located in the “golden triangle” allows us to significantly increase the amount of fresh produce grown year-round in the UK.
When fully equipped, the units - each occupying 25 sqm of ground space and 10 metres in height - are able to produce up to 18 million plants per year and generate the crop equivalent of 360,000 sqm of farmland. The Growing Centre is currently in construction and on track for a first harvest in Q4 of 2021.
Each Infarm Growing Centre can save up to ten million liters of water per year, reducing water consumption by 95% versus traditional agricultural methods. Pentadel, appointed by Infarm to select a site as well as design and manage the construction of the new Growing Centre, has also integrated rainwater harvesting into the design of Infarm's new facility. Implementing rainwater harvesting is expected to capture a further 2.5 million litres of water per year, which will be used for conditioning plants.
Infarm will continue to operate its existing Growing Centre in Edmonton, North London and is currently hiring. “We have already opened up new positions for our locations in London and Bedford and will continue to do so as we expand our Bedford operation,” said Byfleet. To establish this large vertical farming facility, Infarm has partnered with Pentadel Project Management.
The location of the facility enables us to serve 90% of the UK population within four hours, bringing the freshest plants just on time to our clients. Consequently, food mileage is substantially reduced. One of the largest indoor vertical farming facilities in Europe to date is going to deliver millions of plants and provide fresh and locally grown produce to even more consumers via our retail partners, restaurants and online food retailers.”
James Kemp, Managing Director of Pentadel, said: “We are thrilled to be supporting Infarm with the delivery of this innovative facility that we believe represents the future of sustainable, scalable and resilient farming. We are passionate about delivering projects just like this – projects that place the future of people and the planet at their heart – and I know the whole team is proud to play a part in Infarm's revolutionary story.” Pentadel has identified a suitable UK site, negotiated terms and is now designing and managing the construction of the facility.
In the UK, Infarm’s herbs and leafy greens are currently found at Whole Foods Market, Selfridges, Marks & Spencer, Fortnum & Mason and Budgens as well at online retailers Weezy and Farmdrop. The new Growing Centre will join Infarm’s expanding global network of vertical farms that all connect to a central farming brain that gathers data constantly to improve plant yield, taste, and nutritional value, while further reducing the use of natural resources. By the end of 2025, Infarm plans to expand to 100 locations worldwide.