GrowUp Farms, a UK-based grower of salads, is building a vertical farm at Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent.
Using 95 per cent less water than conventional growing methods, without the need for pesticides and directly powered by renewable energy, GrowUp says its farm will bring fresher, longer-lasting salads to supermarket shelves all year-round.
GrowUp Farms and sustainable infrastructure company Generate Capital, have announced an investment exceeding £100m to transform British food production by accelerating delivery of GrowUp’s energy-efficient vertical farms, starting with the farm in Kent.
Generate Capital is a Public Benefit Corporation that builds, owns, operates and finances sustainable infrastructure projects. The San Francisco-based company, which also has a team in London, has more than 2,000 projects operating around the world in sustainable energy, agriculture, transportation, water and waste.
Salads from the GrowUp farm are expected to save up to three million lorry miles per year by avoiding imports, and will create new permanent, skilled jobs in Kent and elsewhere. The company will soon start to recruit a 40-strong workforce to operate its energy-efficient vertical farm.
Kate Hofman, who co-founded GrowUp in 2013, said: “Discovery Park gives us access to on-site low carbon renewable energy which enables us to produce competitively as well as focus on our environmental impact. Being located in Kent means we have a local economy and workforce that specialises in food production and distribution.”
Commenting on the arrival of GrowUp Farms, Mayer Schreiber, Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Park, said: “This investment will bring game-changing technologies to Kent, making a sustainable difference to how we feed ourselves.
“GrowUp has joined our growing community of companies – such as HyPoint with its hydrogen fuel cell technology – who are literally transforming their respective industries and supply chains to make our planet more sustainable.”