GrowUp’s farm, currently under construction is expected to begin delivering its first harvest of ready-to-eat salad leaves to UK supermarket shelves in the 2022/23 winter season .
GrowUp Farms to accelerate supply of sustainable British salads in vertical farming investment with Generate Capital
The investment into GrowUp’s next farm in Sandwich, Kent, will deliver low-carbon infrastructure to bring fresher, longer-lasting salads to supermarket shelves year-round
LONDON, U.K. – 15 February 2022 – GrowUp Farms, a U.K.-based grower of high-quality salads, and sustainable infrastructure company Generate Capital, have announced an investment exceeding £100m to transform British food production by accelerating delivery of GrowUp’s energy-efficient vertical farms.
GrowUp Farms has spent almost a decade perfecting products and honing growing expertise across three vertical farms, selling restaurant-quality leafy greens that stay fresher longer. The company has developed industry-leading technology integrated with renewable energy to drive down the costs of vertical farming, while cutting down on food waste in the supply chain and at home. GrowUp’s fourth farm, currently under construction in Sandwich, Kent, is expected to begin delivering its first harvest of ready-to-eat salad leaves to U.K. supermarket shelves in the 22/23 winter season.
“A great salad is the original plant-based meal, but for a long time it’s been hard to get shoppers excited about what’s out there,” said Kate Hofman, who co-founded GrowUp in 2013. “We’re passionate about getting people to rethink their salads and excited by this opportunity to deliver healthy, affordable, British-grown food to more customers, with a lighter environmental footprint and a more resilient year-round supply chain. At GrowUp, we bring purpose and impact to the fresh produce category and expect a transformational impact over the next decade as we add in new crops. Our farms can deliver fresh, long-lasting salads consistently, and withstand the mounting environmental and economic pressures from inflation in transport, labour and commodity costs that have challenged the fresh produce sector.”
GrowUp’s low-carbon farms will use 95% less water than conventional growing methods, and crops are grown without pesticides, powered directly by renewable energy. The controlled production environment means that leaves avoid processing, preserving quality and life on the shelf and in the fridge. Salads grown on the farm are expected to save up to 3 million lorry miles per year by avoiding imports, and will create new permanent, skilled jobs in Kent and elsewhere.
Partnering with Generate Capital, a U.S. Public Benefit Corporation that builds, owns, operates and finances over 2,000 sustainable infrastructure projects globally, will support a series of vertical farms that benefit from GrowUp’s unique growing expertise and innovative renewable energy model. Beyond salads, GrowUp is developing future crops and products at its R&D farm at the Agri-Epi Centre at Harper Adams University.
“Our team has worked hard to solve the challenges that kept vertically farmed salads from being cost-competitive and sustainable,” said Marcus Whately, Managing Director of GrowUp. “We partnered with Generate Capital because of their long-term focus on both sustainability and economic efficiency, and together we can now bring this model to scale. As we expand in Kent and at other sites, we look forward to becoming a long-term supply partner across multiple categories – helping supermarkets solve environmental and supply chain problems.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with the expert and innovative team at GrowUp to accelerate sustainable vertical farming infrastructure in the British market,” said Dr. Erich Becker, head of Generate Europe. “Generate is passionate about using our expertise in sustainable infrastructure to build facilities that achieve better land use, improve our resource efficiency, add supply chain resilience and mitigate climate change. Low-carbon vertical farming is a much-needed development and we are pleased to be working to accelerate it across Europe and North America.”
GrowUp Farms brings customers food that doesn’t cost the earth. We’ve spent almost a decade growing salads at three vertical farms, bringing customers restaurant-quality leafy greens that stay fresher for longer. We’ve lowered our costs and carbon footprint using a proprietary high-efficiency renewable energy system. Salads are just the tip of the iceberg – our future is more farms, more crops, and the technology to make vertical farming the norm.
Generate Capital, PBC is a leading sustainable infrastructure company driving the infrastructure revolution. Generate builds, owns, operates and finances solutions for clean energy, water, waste, transportation, sustainable agriculture and digital infrastructure. Founded in 2014, Generate partners with over 40 technology and project developers and owns and operates more than 2,000 assets globally. Generate is the one-stop shop offering pioneers of the infrastructure revolution tailored funding and support needed to get projects built. Our Infrastructure-as-a-Service model delivers affordable, reliable and sustainable resources to thousands of customers, companies, communities, school districts and universities. Together, we are rebuilding the world.
Posted on 21/02/2022