OneFarm, a Dutch vertical farming company, plans to open a new 6,400m² facility in Newmarket, Suffolk which will be able to grow up to 415 tonnes of food each year.
The farm, which is due to open next year, has received funding from both public and private investors and will be delivered in partnership with IGS, an indoor agritech specialist.
OneFarm will work with Suffolk County Council and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver the indoor farm in a currently unused warehouse. The facility will focus on feeding local people and boosting the agricultural sector in the region.
The first phase of development at the Newmarket site will deliver the 6,400m² of growing area in nine-metre growth towers. It will have the capacity to produce 415 tonnes of food per year. OneFarm and IGS plan to increase growing area to 13,000m² and for its capacity to rise to more than 1,000 tonnes per year in the future.
The multimillion-pound farm will grow herbs and salads on demand to limit waste and unnecessary harvesting, and the brand claimed it already had supply agreements in place with retailers.
The plans represent the most recent in a series of vertical farms to either open or commence building work in the UK. Both the Jones Food Company (JFC) and Fischer Farms claim to be opening the world’s largest vertical farms in the UK this year in Gloucestershire and Norfolk respectively. Additionally, GrowUp Farms announced it secured £100m in funding for its Kent vertical farm earlier this year.
The Newmarket vertical farm will be the first of 25 indoor vertical farms which OneFarm and IGS plan to build in the coming years.
“Consumers deserve locally grown, fresh, good-quality food, grown without pesticides and with low water usage, and OneFarm’s in-house brand, Wholly Food, provides just that,” said Mira Merme, OneFarm CEO.
“With the IGS technology, we will deliver those commitments to our customers and consumers alike. Its levels of flexibility to grow a wider variety of produce is superior to all other competitors and we believe its dedication to product innovation will bring even greater benefits to our farms as we expand in the future.”
David Farquhar, IGS CEO, said: “OneFarm’s consumer-centric approach to growing and distribution reflects an evolving consumer desire – to really know and understand where their food is coming from and ensure availability and quality of produce. Across the world, the focus on environmental and economic sustainability has increased dramatically in recent years, accompanied by the imperative need for food security.”