International interest in Runcorn vertical farm future

Farm Urban, based at the Heath Business and Technical Park (BTP), presented findings of its pilot study into net zero agriculture at the International Horticultural Congress 2022 in Angers, France, prompting praise from luminaries of the field. The research was funded by John Lewis MBE, managing director of The Heath's owners SOG, and examined hydrogen power could provide clean energy to grow fresh fruit and veg.

Delegates learned more about the program and study findings from Dr. Jens Thomas, Farm Urban co-founder and technical director.

Citing the Sustainable Food Trust's Hidden Cost of Food report published in 2019, Dr. Paul Myers, Farm Urban co-founder and vertical farming chief advisor to SOG, said vertical farming could be worth £116bn a year to the UK economy by various means such as reducing dependence on imports, protecting the environment, and health benefits.

Among those praising the research was the "father of vertical farming," Professor Tokoki Kozai, based in Japan, who said: "I enjoyed reading your paper. The use of electricity generated by natural energy is becoming more and more important for reducing GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in vertical farming."

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