SYAN Farms is a new company, founded by a UK based family who have had a longstanding interest in sustainable agriculture. It is VF's largest build project to date and VF plans to further support the SYAN team with future build-outs as they scale their brand.
Crate to Plate are a high-growth urban-focused 'last mile' vertical farming company. VF supplies the CTP team with Container Lab solutions that are placed across London to serve local communities. By 2023, there could be as many as 100 containers in London alone.
HECK is a leading British food brand that produces a delicious range of sausages for retailers across the UK. We have built a small R&D farm, co-located with their site in Yorkshire, which couples with ongoing research around nutrition and alternative proteins.
Mindful Chef is a hugely successful UK brand that was acquired by NESTLE in 2020. VF provided fresh produce to Mindful Chef's distribution site which is then sent on as part of the company's home vegetable box offering.
Chop'd is a leading salad-focused chain across London. VF supplied the Chop'd restaurants with fresh produce over a number of years, with daily deliveries.
Kaleido is a fast-growing London-based brand which is reinventing the salad. VF supplied the Kaleido team with ingredients to brighten up their salads, also adding flavour and texture.
Lahpet is a high-quality Burmese restaurant located in Shoreditch, East London. VF built a great relationship with the Lahpet team, providing daily drops which typically consisted of exotic produce varieties.
Aligning with the vegan revolution.
We are working in partnership with phytopharmaceutical development company, DePlantis Ltd. to grow a crop used for the production of a licenced medicine using a herbal extract, which will target the common cold and other respiratory conditions.
Vertical Future will develop the first soil-free, hydroponic production of this extract, which is proven to have an anti-viral effect on coughs and colds and is a key active ingredient in over-the- counter drugs, allowing a year-round, reliable source in line with other medicines.
"This Pharmaceutical application is allowing us to demonstrate the use of Vertical Future's technology beyond our traditional market of plants for food. We will develop a stand-alone pilot R&D facility for non-food crops that is GACP GMP compliant which we aim to expand into producing other phytopharmaceuticals"
- Jamie Burrows, Co-founder & CEO
A switch to online ordering and less-frequent food delivery services seen at the outset of the COVID crisis highlighted the need for extended shelf-life salads and leafy greens. Funded by Innovate UK in response to the COVID crisis, this project further improves our proprietary growing systems to allow crops to be produced for sale to the consumer still growing.
We are adapting materials commonly used in packaging to produce punnets and growing trays that can be transferred directly from the growing system to the retailer with minimal human handling. Current live plant packaging is predominantly plastic, Innovate UK funding has allowed us to spend more time working to devise a fully biodegradable solution for the market. By adapting our systems to produce both cut and uncut product provides a greater range of markets for our technology clients to access.
"COVID has been difficult for everyone, yet with funding schemes like this in place, we were not only able to stabilise the production side of the business, but expand it also - and to a wider range of customers"
- Dr. Jennifer Bromley, Chief Scientific Officer
We have developed light recipes which change during a 24 hour period, working with the normal circadian rhythm of the plant. We have reduced energy inputs by over 30% and improved productivity by 24% compared to a standard lighting regime.
In partnership with the University of Cambridge we are developing sensors to monitor the plant directly rather than infer a plant response from environmental monitoring. Integrating via DIANA, using these sensors allow us to maximise productivity in real time.
Funded by the UK Space Agency, we are working with commercial and government space agencies in UK, USA and Australia to improve farm connectivity and enable real-time remote agronomy through suites of sensors and plant imaging.
We’re using vertical farms as a nursery to produce high-health strawberry plants which can be transplanted into any growing system. In early trials, we've seen fruit yield improvements of up to 40% compared to those produced traditionally.