Shockingly Fresh has received planning permission for its first facility.
Hydroponic farming start-up Shockingly Fresh plans to develop more than 40 vertical farms in the UK that can grow up to five times as many vegetables as traditional farms.
The Edinburgh-based company has received planning permission for its first site, an 11,899-square-metre greenhouse in Worcestershire that will be developed in partnership with indoor farming specialists Saturn Bioponics and salad grower Valefresco.
The vertical farm, which is expected to be functional this summer, will feature hydroponic towers to grow multiple crop cycles.
“The Midlands are ideal for vertical farming and we are really excited about delivering our first site here,” said Garth Bryans, COO at Shockingly Fresh.
“The climate is good, there is a well-established horticulture sector and it is close to major markets and road networks, so it makes sense for us to begin our rollout plans here.
“We have identified a significant market – particularly around the early and late season ‘shoulder months’ – which is currently filled by imported crops from Europe. We believe a raft of sites across the country will enable British growers to compete on a level field.”
Shockingly Fresh said the facility will be able to grow up to five times as many greens as traditional farms.
Shockingly Fresh is now developing “a number of sites” across the UK, with plans to construct 40 in its first five years. It is looking to partner with landowners and investors to further accelerate its expansion.
Hydroponic specialists Saturn Bioponics will supply all the equipment for the new vertical farm.
“We selected Saturn’s technology because their set-up requires far less up-front capital than a fully enclosed vertical farm yet delivers most of the benefits, which are already driving the high demand for hydroponically produced crops,” Bryans added.
“This means we can quickly build a portfolio of fully developed vertical farms to the market – and we believe this will appeal to both site owners and specialist growers.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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