Trials of vertically farmed strawberries are underway at the group’s research and development farm in Litchfield
Agri-tech group Fischer Farms has revealed that trials of vertically farmed strawberries and soft fruits are underway at its dedicated research and development farm in Litchfield, UK.
The news came as the famous Wimbledon tennis tournament, which serves up 38.4 tonnes of strawberries each year, concluded this week.
Fischer said that its team had been cultivating a number of soft fruit crops in a biosecure, controlled environment, as part of a three-phase plan to ”feed the world with nutritious foods”.
Using the latest vertical farming technology, Fischer Farms is currently growing phase one crops – herbs and short, leafy greens – at scale at its vertical farm in Norwich.
This technology is now being used to grow phase two crops (soft fruit) at its R&D facility, which will also be used to continue trials of phase three crops.
Fischer stated that with ever-more pressure mounting on traditional British farmers, the conventional farming community and UK food supply chain needed to start looking towards vertical farming innovation to offer the solutions to longstanding issues such as shortages of seasonal labour, climate constraints and water limitations.
Vertical farming could deliver British-grown produce all-year-round, with the ability to transform the UK’s food supply chain, bringing stability and resilience to the fresh produce category, the group noted.
“Significant capital investment is needed to get to the point where we can safeguard the supply of all berries served at Wimbledon, but the returns will be significant, leading to the next agricultural revolution, safeguarding global food security,” said Tristan Fischer, CEO at Fischer Farms.