Herbs, salads and soft fruits being grown year-round, in vast, indoor plant factories – is this the future of farming? Within 10 years the UK could be growing all of said items and potentially even cut flowers making vertical farming the norm. Farming this way could have numerous benefits – most importantly, growing in a way that doesn’t impact on nature.
Farming faces a number of different challenges – namely climate change, crop management, population growth, labour availability and keeping pace with tech. The latter can otherwise be described as ‘agritech’ – a sector that has significantly grown in recent years and is proving increasingly popular with so-called ‘impact investors’ looking to build their portfolios before the inevitable boom.
As part of the £270m farming innovation programme, the UK government is investing an extra £16.5m worth of funding into research and development in Agritech. Steve Double (minister of farming innovation) states that the idea is designed to take the UK’s world-leading research ideas and turn them into practical solutions to support healthy soils, abundant pollinators and clean water alongside profitable food production.”
Here are a seven agritech businesses that excite us most:
AeroFarms are an award-winning vertical farming company who are passionately solving agriculture’s biggest challenges, growing real food for elevated flavor and a brighter future for all. AeroFarms put people, the planet and purpose first after becoming the first indoor vertical farming company to be a Certified B corporation. According to a Cardinal News story, their new 140,000-square-foot facility in Pittsylvania’s will be the largest of its kind in the world and will help to facilitate their continued expansion targets.
Fischer Farms plans to transform the future of the industry with the world’s largest vertical farm. A recently published article by HortWeek announced Fischer’s Farms £26m funding which will help them to combine AgroScience, big data and environmental activism to bring you the Future of Farming. Sustainable, locally sourced produce that minimises food miles all while using a fraction of the land required for field-grown crops.
Light Science Technologies help you grow with more intelligence. Designed specifically for use in a Vertical farming environment, the ‘nurturGROW’ suite of products can be used in a variety of vertical applications from containers to large spaces and is ideal for the cultivation of leafy greens, micro-herbs, violas, and other small flowers. The result is consistent, flavourful crops for growers all year round.
JFCo believe that the world needs to grow more food using fewer resources that are being eroded away by climate change due to the expected rise of the global population. JFCo’s pioneering approach will help to solve this problem by growing vast amounts of nutritious, local food, all-year round in ‘Controlled Environment Agriculture’. Working through the design, building and operating stages of world-scale vertical farms, the firm will help facilitate the next generation of UK agriculture by growing the highest quality fresh produce in a local, sustainable and affordable way.
Tropic Bio Sciences focuses on developing high-performing tropical crops which promote cultivation efficiencies, enhance consumer health, and improve sustainable environmental practices. They use innovative technologies to meet nutritional demands and to support the sustainable development of growing local communities around the world. An AG Funder News article announced Tropic Bio Sciences secured a $28.5 million Series B round of equity funding, led by Temasek, to accelerate Tropic’s growth trajectory.
Infarm combines highly efficient vertical farms with IoT technologies and Machine Learning to offer an alternative food system that is resilient, transparent, and affordable. The company distributes its smart modular farms throughout the urban environment to grow fresh produce for the city’s inhabitants. With cutting edge R&D, patented technologies, and a leading multi-disciplinary team, Infarm was founded on a visionary mission: helping cities become self-sufficient in their food production while significantly improving the safety, quality, and environmental footprint of our food.
WeFarm is the world’s largest platform for small scale farmers. Over 1 billion smallholder farmers produce 70% of the world’s food, and four of the five most traded commodities on earth, yet the vast majority lack access to the internet and even basic information to help them solve problems or share ideas. WeFarm is the first platform built for these farmers and has more than 1 million farmers using its ecosystem in Kenya and Uganda alone.
Are you in the agritech space and looking to generate some buzz about your company in the media? If so why not get in touch today.