UK-based indoor agritech specialist IGS is teaming up with Scotland's Vertegrow to construct a four-tower vertical farming system in Aberdeenshire later this year.
The towers are expected to be operational in early 2021 and will grow a variety of crops that will serve the local food supply chain. Vertegrow will work with a range of local customers including retailers, caterers, restaurateurs and other local services, to deliver fresh, nutritious, high-quality produce all year round.
“This is an exciting step for IGS and for Vertegrow as we set out to deploy a new vertical farm for a new operator in this space," says David Farquhar, CEO of Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS), which has been creating solutions for a wide variety of indoor environments since 2013. "We are confident that this will bring a new and top-quality offering to the local market. Such re-localisation of the food supply chain is a feature of post-coronavirus planning we are seeing all over world.”
The 245 square-metre insulated superstructure will accommodate four nine-metre-high towers alongside a 1,600 square-metre service area on Vertegrow’s site at Waterside Farm in Aberdeenshire. This will provide approximately 1,343 square metres of growing space, producing up to 70 tonnes of produce per annum when fully operational.
This is the first move into vertical farming for Vertegrow, diversifying alongside existing agricultural operations. It expects to sell its first crops in early 2021 and then to expand and improve its crop range through research and development.
“Vertegrow is delighted to be working with IGS on this innovative project as we position our farm business to address the challenges of the modern food supply chain," Graeme Warren, of Vertegrow says. "We have spent considerable time identifying the right partners and systems, and the IGS platform stood out as a quality solution which could be configured for our needs.
"Growing quality, nutritious food in North East Scotland will allow us to reduce food miles for our customers. Combined with our renewable energy sources and rainwater harvesting, the efficiency of the IGS system is a key part of our ambition to grow crops in a carbon neutral way. We look forward to continuing to work with IGS as we construct the facility later this year.”
The plug-and-play vertical farming product developed by IGS will offer Vertegrow a highly controllable platform, designed specifically to maximise productivity whilst minimising energy consumption and allowing the production of consistently high-quality produce at scale.
“We were delighted that the IGS platform was selected for this project. It is proof that our rigorous commitment to engineering design excellence and our unique patented systems deliver what customers want – a system that is highly pragmatic, flexible, modular and scalable. We look forward to getting underway with the deployment of our Growth Towers with the Vertegrow team.”