Amidst challenging times, bankruptcies, and fancy new vertical farms sprouting globally, the new edition of the Vertifarm show in Dortmund, Germany, has kicked off.
Walking through the aisles of the show you can see a good number of visitors stopping by the nicely arranged booths. As you pass by them, one cannot but notice a bigger number of exhibitors coming from the R&D space, as well as software solutions and startups. Usually, one would see more ‘traditional’ horti suppliers – substrates manufacturers, fertilizers companies, and so on – so this may be a sign of an industry working hard to keep things on the right track.
At the same time, people have been somewhat hesitant to talk about new projects, even though they are definitely happening all over the world. For instance, there’s a cannabis farm being set up in South Africa, or a new vertical farm in Dubai, as well as many different interesting projects in Southeast Asia. Greenhouses too are being built. However, it seems the majority of them are breaking ground in North America rather than in Europe.
Of course, bankruptcies in the industry were one of the main talks of the town, considering all the turmoil happening recently in the CEA space. The Vertifarm show is however depicting an industry that is not scared of potential – almost natural – failures, because there’s still a widespread belief that the vertical farming industry is here to stay. And, after all, bankruptcies are somewhat of a natural defense mechanism to push out this space the most unserious players.
Next to the exhibitors and the gossiping, the Association of Vertical Farming is hosting a series of talks to dive deeper into the different aspects that make and will make this industry successful.
All in all, the mix of research, startups, growers, and regular visitors make up for a very diverse edition of Vertifarm.