The Staay Food Group has won the 2013 Fruit Logistica Innovation Award.
In a vote by trade visitors to the event in Berlin, the Dutch business won for its custom greenhouses with specialised LED lighting that allows seeds to be cultivated into young plants within 35 days, in otherwise infertile environments and independently of their natural season.
Pesticides are not required in Staay's sustainable City Farming production system, which could be a solution to the problem of feeding a growing global population as the world's arable land area shrinks.
The victory for an innovation in production should bring recognition for the burgeoning urban agriculture sector and marks a departure from previous years, when innovative products have dominated the voting.
Staay was one of ten businesses nominated for the award by a panel of experts.
Second place went to Elbe-Obst Vertriebs for its Apfel-Schiffchen, apple slices that use a drying technique to guarantee crispness and prevent browning.
Tozer Seeds of the UK came third with its Flower Sprout, a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale.