“We’re slowly sleepwalking into a global food and water crisis. Financially, we really need investors that are willing to adapt unreasonable return expectations in order to attain truly address important ESG goals – but the future is looking up.”
These were the words of our Founder & CEO, Jamie Burrows, at the AIM Summit in Dubai earlier this month, where he was speaking on behalf of Vertical Future.
“True food security in any country exists at the interaction between sustainable food production at a fair price point, that does not limit access to different socioeconomic groups.
Despite all the learnings of the past 10 years or so and the ups and downs of the vertical farming and broader controlled-environment-agriculture sectors, many in our sector continue to pursue the “sustainable/better product = premium price” ideology, or build business models that are contingent on this to make a profit. For example, container farms and ‘grow towers’ – whilst great for R&D, working alongside greenhouses, or urban education and job creation – aren’t capable of achieving this objective, no matter how efficient, no matter how advanced the technology. Much of this is simply down to basic plant science and the limitations placed on how quickly a plant can grow – and how much biomass can be grown in that time.
Scale, where economies of scale and purchasing power can be unlocked should therefore be straight ahead and not in the rear view mirror – and there is light on the horizon. Different types of investors and other organisations are increasingly becoming involved in the sector and believe in the need for large-scale solutions and the benefits that they bring.”
Watch the full recording here.