York will soon be home to a new £18 million vertical farm after a Taiwanese company decided to make the city its European base.
Agritech business YesHealth Biotechnology will provide local consumers with fresh, pesticide-free products, according to UK international trade minister Graham Stuart, who has been on a tour of Taiwan to strengthen ties with the country.
YesHealth already has a 14-storey vertical farm in Taiwan’s Taoyuan City and will now establish a new facility at the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus (NAFIC) in York over the next two years.
Winston Tsai, president of YesHealth iFarm, said: “YesHealth Group has proven that vertical farming is a profitable business that can create new jobs in a farming industry that is finding it increasingly challenging to attract young workers.
“The vertical farming industry in the United Kingdom is still developing, and this, together with attractive market conditions, makes the United Kingdom an obvious choice for YesHealth Group.
“We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to the British government for their support towards making this a reality.”
In March Britain launched the Innovative Industries Programme with Taiwan, setting out plans to invest £200,000 in strengthening UK-Taiwan collaboration in areas such as biotechnology, AI, robotics, clean energy and autonomous vehicles.
The bulk of the funding will go to supporting Taiwanese researchers that want to conduct research at UK universities and R&D institutes, with additional funding for sector analysis and bilateral visits, the British Office in Taipai reported.