Source: Thinkstock

The agri-tech company has announced trials have started at its dedicated research and development farm in Litchfield

Fischer Farms has launched a trial of vertically farmed strawberries and soft fruits at its dedicated research and development farm in Litchfield, Staffordshire.

The agri-tech company said a team at the site had been cultivating soft fruit crops in a bio-secure, controlled environment as part of the business’s wider food security goals.

The company already grows herbs and short leafy greens at scale at its vertical farm in Norwich, and the same technology is now being used to grow soft fruits.

The R&D facility will also be used to trial the next stage of crops including rice, wheat, peas and soy beans. Fisher announced it had completed a first wheat-growing trial at the site in February.

“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.

The company said the new development could help lift pressure on British farmers around issues such as shortages of seasonal labour, climate constraints and water limitations.

Earlier this year, Berry World announced a partnership with Smartkas to grow Eve’s Delight strawberries in its vertical farm in Essex, and last year Berry Gardens partnered with JFC to carry out similar trials.