Fischer Farms opens ‘world’s biggest’ vertical farm

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Fischer Farms has opened the 'world's biggest' verrtical farm
Fischer Farms has opened the 'world's biggest' verrtical farm

Related tags Agriculture

Fischer Farms has completed construction of a new 25,000m2 vertical farm in the heart of Norfolk, reportedly the biggest of its kind in the world.

The £25m project – overseen by food and drink construction specialists Clegg Food Projects – utilises LED-based lighting to produce crops across four acres of land, with the ability to produce 250 times more leafy greens than conventional farming.

Tristan Fischer, chief executive of Fischer Farms, said: “After months of hard work by the team, it's fantastic to see our new farm in production. The state-of-the-art facility has been completed to the highest spec, and is at the cutting edge of vertical farming technology, enabling us to provide customers with the very best, sustainably grown fresh produce.”

Year-round crops

Fischer Farms planned on operating the site 365 days a year using sustainable energy sources, leveraging the producer’s expertise in agri-tech and renewable energy.

Clegg Food Projects business development manager Oliver Jenkins added: “Vertical farming is transforming the agriculture industry and this facility proves it is a viable solution for supplying fresh produce in a controlled growing environment all year round. With growing concerns over climate change as well as land and labour shortages, innovative solutions such as this are very welcome. 

“This has been a fantastic project to be involved with on many levels. As with any technology-focused facility, the team needed to be flexible – and where possible adjust the design and construction works to meet the needs of the specialist process equipment. In addition, they also undertook an extensive building services and utilities installation in order to supply the complex growing and harvesting systems.

Investment in vertical farms

Vertical farm projects have been attracting millions of pounds of investment in recent years, with the likes of Vertical Future and GrowUp Farms attracting more than £120m of funding last year alone.

The design of a typical vertical farms makes them easy to slot into any urban environment, or even into an existing factory. For manufacturers, this can greatly reduce food miles and offer access to produce throughout the year without the fear of crops being damaged by adverse weather.

Liverpool-based vertical farming expert Farm Urban has even used the business model as the basis of an educational video game to help school children learn about careers in the food and drink industry.

Related topics Fresh produce Plant-Based Operations

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Built in eutrophication and pest control

Posted by Roddy,

Sadly we could be beyond the point where we might rely on mother nature to offer stable resources. Indoor growing allows us to limit damage to the environment while limiting damage to our produce.

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Posted by Giles,

The sun is the best source of energy and earth from a field is the best source of nutrients.

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Vertical Farming

Posted by Grahame Dunling,

Growing Smarter is the key.
100% renewable energy and full energy production on site is needed.
Hence we have a smart way of growing with 50% less energy used.

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