Vertical farming group claims world first in getting top grade
Vertical farm operator GrowUp Farms has received an A rating in its first-ever BRCGS audit.
The Kent-based farm, Pepperness, is the first UK vertical farm to be awarded the certification, according to the company, which covers the growing, harvesting and packing processes at the farm, and achieved a grade A against the BRCGS Global Food Safety Standard.
The standard is adopted by more than 22,000 sites in over 130 countries, and is accepted by 70 per cent of the top 10 global retailers, 60 per cent of the top 10 quick-service restaurants, and 50 per cent of the top 25 manufacturers.
GrowUp Farms also clajmed to be the first UK vertical farm to launch a branded ready-to-eat salad into a UK supermarket group with the launch earlier this year of Fresh Leaf Co. red + green baby leaf salad into Iceland and Food Warehouse stores across the country.
Talking about the BRCGS certification to GrowUp Farms, Emma West, vice-president of technical services and certification director for FoodChain ID said: “FoodChain ID is thrilled to support the groundbreaking achievements to secure certification for the first indoor vertically integrated farm in the UK”
Kate Hofman, founder and chief brand officer, added: “We are over the moon to have achieved yet another accolade by being the world’s first controlled-environment vertical farm to be awarded a grade A against the BRCGS from plant to plate in our first-ever audit.
“The certification is recognised by retailers and foodservice organisations across the world so it’s very important to us to achieve such a great rating on our first audit as we build on our commercial operations. We are the first vertical farm to launch a branded salad into a major UK supermarket group with the launch of Fresh Leaf Co. into Iceland stores and this certification validates our commitment to food safety and quality through better food for all.”