The vertical farming initiative, Tech Tyfu, is inviting growers to join a brand-new project that will strengthen and develop new local food supply chains.
The Scale-Up project, run by social enterprise Menter Môn, aims to help businesses and individuals by providing vertical farming equipment to grow and sell locally grown produce through short supply chains. As well as designing and building vertical farming equipment, Tech Tyfu will also provide specialist support to develop brands and help with product marketing.
Set up in 2019, Tech Tyfu has already helped establish several food producers across north Wales, who are thriving as a result of the support they received.
One of the more recent success stories is Gwynedd-based micro-herbs company, Tyfu Eryri, which is now looking to develop their business. With support, Tyfu Eryri is looking at ways of expanding, which includes relocating to Moelyci Farm, near Bangor.
Sheena Lewis is the owner of Tyfu Eryri, and she said: "The support we've received from Tech Tyfu has been invaluable, we might not even exist had it not been for their involvement. The encouragement to try new growing methods, as well as the networking and research, helped us to start experimenting with vertical farming. We are now selling produce to individuals, restaurants, and shops in the area."
She added: "Getting involved with the pilot project and receiving a grow rack on loan really helped us to develop the business. We have significant expansion plans for Tyfu Eryri and are excited to see what new opportunities the Scale-Up project will bring."
Project for everyone in Wales
The Tech Tyfu Scale-Up will work with growers and businesses and aims to open the project to anyone across the whole of Wales. The hope is that it will also help promote food tourism and establish a sense of place.
David Wylie is one of the officers at Tech Tyfu and said: "In setting up the new Scale-Up project, we aim to build on the achievements of our pilot so far, to promote sustainable short supply chains. We have found that there is a growing demand for locally grown produce, and vertical farming is opening the door to this market."
He added: "I would encourage businesses and individuals working in this field to contact us and apply to be part of this new scale-up phase. This is an incredible opportunity to develop businesses and expand vertical farming across Wales."
Tech Tyfu is looking for candidates who have an established supply chain and a route into the existing market for fresh produce.
The project will run from May 2022 to June 2023, and applications must be made before the closing date on June 6th, 2022.
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