Food production is often pointed to as a major contributor to climate change. Not only does it account for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, but intensive agriculture also depletes finite resources, including water, land, and forests.
However, efforts to reform the sector remain in their infancy. Investment Week believes the potential of vertical farming remains underappreciated as a solution to many problems posed by agriculture.
A budding market
Invented at the turn of the century, there are still only about 30 hectares of operational vertical farmland in the world. While two vertical farms have achieved substantial scale in the US, vertical farm products have not yet gained significant shelf space in the UK and Europe.
Some small-scale producers have successfully produced high-quality herbs and microgreens. Still, these are targeted towards restaurants and specialty stores and do not represent an alternative to farm-grown products at scale. Indeed, to obtain shelf space, producers need volume.
Fischer Farms aims to be one of the first to commercialize vertically produced leafy greens at scale. Fischer Farms' first farm in Burton-Upon-Trent grows a range of leafy greens and herbs within their proprietary farm design and growing recipes. The business has recently started construction on a second farm in Norwich.
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