The story behind these Danish growers

From a closed room above a zoo restaurant, the company Nextfood grows fresh produce in their own vertical farm. The plants are grown in a shelf system, and the technology allows the farm to simulate the mountains of northern Italy or create an environment that doesn't already exist.

"We are absolutely convinced that vertical farming is the future. It's all about control. What we are seeing here is a radical change in the supply chain. We are not seasonal, but can organize according to the market," says founder and CEO Rasmus Bjerngaard when Heartbeats visits.

For many years, Rasmus Bjerngaard worked with various start-up companies and was a partner in a venture capital fund. He has worked for Doctors Without Borders in Uganda and lived in Silicon Valley. Now he's back home in Denmark, where he and the company's CTO and co-founder, Hannes Líndal, have gone all-in on growing vegetables at altitude.

"Here, everything is controlled down to the smallest detail and heat level. By adjusting the environment, we can control taste, color, and shape, and no slugs or insects will eat our crops," says Rasmus Bjerngaard.

One of the companies that quickly bought the idea of customized salad is the fast-food chain Sunset Boulevard. Nextfood supplies specially developed, crisp vegetables designed to match the restaurant's menu.

"Our lettuce is grown so it can withstand 70 degrees in a burger and still be crisp and crunchy when served to the customer. And nothing goes to waste because the employees harvest the lettuce fresh down at the restaurant," says Rasmus Bjerngaard.

In fact, all you have to do is switch on the farm, plug in the computer, and order a kilo of coriander or fresh basil, and it's ready four weeks later.

Read the complete article at www.heartbeats.dk.


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