Vertical Future grows strawberries at its R&D site in Bishops Stortford

Katia Zacharaki, Senior Plant Scientist at Vertical Future is leading our efforts from our strawberry R&D centre, co-located with our manufacturing site North of London - and real progress is being made. In the coming years, strawberries grown on our systems will be sold at price parity but with much higher level of quality, grown locally, year-round.

Jamie Burrows, Founder & CEO of Vertical Future: “Ever wondered why strawberries at the supermarket don’t taste as good as before? Well, usually you’re buying strawberries that have been grown outside or in a glasshouse and almost certainly washed (with chemicals). Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great tasting strawberries out there, but this is a dwindling statistic and these methods of growing are under real pressure, on many fronts.

Growing experience and know-how go a long way and science is almost certainly redundant without these factors. But strawberries (and other crops) that are not grown in vertical farms do not have the full benefit of advanced technological application.

From design of appropriate LED boards, wavelength selection, temperature differential between day and night, variety selection, effective pollination, pest control, and non-uniformity of harvests, strawberries are one of the most talked about (and challenging) crops in the CEA sector right now, but still have a long way to go – and it’s crop science that will lead the way.

For example, did you know you can change the shape, sweetness, and size of a strawberry purely through optimising light wavelengths at different stages of growth?

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