Australian vertical farming company’s automated Gold Coast facility reaches full capacity as construction of Melbourne site begins

Stacked Farm's first facility in Gold Coast, Australia

Stacked Farm’s first facility in Gold Coast, Australia

Stacked Farm’s first fully automated robotic vertical farm on the Gold Coast, Australia has reached full production as the company sets its sights on further growth.

The 6,588m2 facility comprises a 2,126m2 workshop for future farm assembly and construction, a 446m2 cold room, and a dedicated research and development wing. Standing 8.5m tall, the vertical farm features 20 growing levels within a 2,144m2 footprint, equivalent to 4,320m2 of ground-level space.

Stacked Farm began construction on the facility in 2021 and the first commercial harvest was completed in January 2024. Now at full production, the farm is engineered to yield 450 tonnes of herbs and leafy greens annually.

Daniel Tzvetkoff, Stacked Farm’s founder and chief architect, attributed the farm’s production capability to its proprietary technology and unique end-to-end automation processes. These innovations ensure optimal operational efficiency in the temperature-controlled environment without human intervention.

Tzvetkoff said Stacked Farm’s more cost-effective, sustainable and consistent approach delivers 47 per cent more energy efficiency and only requires approximately 10 per cent of the staff compared to competitors. The farm requires just six employees for operation and maintenance, with only these team members allowed entry to adhere to the highest hygiene standards.

“Traditional farming practices typically require 45-80 days for average crop growth and can be vulnerable to contaminants, climate and weather variations. Stacked Farm’s technology enables full growth in just 16-31 days, depending on the crop variety,” said Tzvetkoff.

“Our 180m2 dedicated research and development wing, comprising 12 rooms, is Australia’s largest industrial-controlled environment. Our plant sciences department ensures our produce meets the most stringent quality, safety and nutrition standards, resulting in nutrient-rich and pristine produce grown sustainably with minimal waste from seed to pack.”

Stacked Farm founder and chief architect Daniel Tzvetkoff in Arundel

Stacked Farm founder and chief architect Daniel Tzvetkoff in Arundel

Stacked Farm’s produce is grown without pesticides, herbicides, or contaminants, it has also passed the maximum 18-day shelf-life test at an ISO 17025 laboratory and is promoted as “Beyond Organic”.

“We have plans to establish two commercial-scale farms per year, with each farm’s annual yield exceeding 3,200 tonnes of fresh produce. This is equivalent to nearly 5 per cent of the national production of lettuce and leafy products in 2021-22, and matches consumption increasing at 5 per cent per year,” explained Tzvetkoff.

Stacked Farm is also set to commence construction of its Melbourne facility imminently. This facility will have a 10,000m2 footprint and an output capability six times greater than the current farm to meet the anticipated demand.

“Our Melbourne farm will operate with just 15 staff and produce 88,460 bags of 100g produce per harvest, with five harvests each week. Once completed, the Melbourne farm will generate over A$50m in annual revenue and is expected to yield a return on investment in three years,” said Tzvetkoff.