NZ's first big high-rise lettuce farm to fight cost of living crisis

As vegetable prices continue to rise, a vertical farm based in Hamilton has the potential to keep the shelves full all year round. The new business, Greengrower, is in the final stages of building New Zealand’s first large-scale vertical farm for lettuce and other leafy greens.

It comes after food prices reached a 13-year high, with fruit and vegetables up 16% in September, and bad weather left supermarket salad shelves empty. By the end of the year, chief executive Tom Schuyt​ said they will be able to produce over 4000 bags per day across the North Island, offering some relief to the country’s supply chain issues.

“It’s an exciting development for New Zealand and the future of farming,” Schuyt said. The young entrepreneur from Wellington started the business five years ago on the concept of solving some of New Zealand’s food problems.

While his background is in accounting, he said he had spent some time in the produce industry and understood the challenges facing the industry and consumers. Wanting to see things change, he and a team began researching vertical farming overseas and began to “New Zealander-rise” the system.

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