Jones Food Company:

UK: Work starts on vertical farm build supplying 1000 tons of fresh produce

Vertical farming pioneer Jones Food Company has broken ground on its second venture. Launched three years ago in a converted cold store in Scunthorpe, it is now building three times bigger in Gloucestershire, with a 148,000 sq ft (13.749m2) addition in Lydney.

It is the first major capital investment since backing was secured from online retailer Ocado and will feature growing space equivalent to 70 tennis courts. Founder James Lloyd-Jones anticipates supplying 1,000 tons of fresh produce to UK supermarkets from the location, first revealed in June.

He said: “We already supply thousands of British retail stores with basil grown in our first facility in Lincolnshire, but this new site, which is three times bigger, will allow us to supply tens of thousands of more stores and to widen our product offer with our partners.”

Dubbed JFC2, it will open in early 2022, with the company declining to reveal the build cost or eventual staff numbers.

“Our food supply chain is under significant stress, with empty supermarket shelves and shortages of foods increasingly commonplace,” Mr. Lloyd-Jones said. “Vertical farming is undoubtedly a vital part of the UK’s and the world’s farming future.

“We believe, through the latest vertical farming technology, the ‘garden of England’ can now grow in Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Yorkshire, Argyll, Fermanagh, and pretty much any other county in this country or any other, providing sustainable solutions for the UK’s food chain.

“We’ve learned so much, had such strong backing, and have such amazing technology that we now believe we can replicate and replicate and replicate.

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