The team at Jones Foods already supplies major retailers with nearly a third of the UK’s fresh basil, which is grown on Europe’s largest vertical farm in Lincolnshire.
But now they are testing how to grow berries, flowers and grapes vertically at a pilot center in Bristol, and hope to eventually be able to grow crops in bulk at a new site in Gloucestershire due to open this fall.
96 tennis courts agricultural land
Once the site is built, it is expected to be the largest vertical farm in the world, with a growing area equivalent to 96 tennis courts stacked vertically. The company aims to reduce the carbon footprint of food consumed in the UK, remove season restrictions and increase the country’s food security while making a profit. In 2020, nearly half of the food consumed in the UK – 46 per cent – was imported.
Glenn Stevens, who was a former Central Wales dairy farmer before becoming head of the company’s agriculture division, said he became increasingly concerned over time about humanity’s impact on our planet, including climate change, and was happy to be involved in something he felt He was doing good.
He noted that over-fertilization of plants is a problem. Although Jones Foods’ farmers use the fertilizer, they say the amount is minimal compared to conventional farming because any fertilizer in the water system that isn’t taken up by the plants is recycled, processed, and then returned to the plants.
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