Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) is teaming with Potager Farm to operate and run a new vertical farm in Berlin.
The farm will be the first retail park-based farm in Germany, allowing Potager to supply fresh produce to retail centres.
IGS will install two nine-metre-high growth towers in the retail park, owned by Greenman OPEN, with it expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2023.
The first crops that Potager Farm will grow include a selection of herbs and salads, which could comprise parsley, chives and basil, and leafy greens such as rocket and mustard leaves.
IGS said the objective is to grow the produce in a controlled environment right at the point of sale, significantly reducing food miles and saving cost and time.
Vertical farming uses minimal water and no pesticides, combined with water recycling capability that means the only water leaving the farm is contained in the crops.
This latest initiative supports the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy and aims to create a more sustainable food system.
Commenting on the news, David Farquhar, CEO at IGS, said: “Potager Farm is a perfect example of how a business can bring sustainable, local food production systems to an urban setting, where the produce will be travelling, at maximum, only a kilometre or two before it reaches the supermarket or restaurant.
“Greenman Group’s commitment to Potager Farm and developing sustainable sites such as this is commendable. They are pioneering innovation across the retail sector right across Germany.
“We are excited that they have chosen IGS Vertical Farm technology to help them reduce their environmental impact and automate the growing process.”
Mario Gatineau, Managing Director at Potager Farm, added: “We are delighted to create one of the most sustainable vertical farming facilities. IGS’s modular towers will allow us to expand our vertical farming system as and when required, enabling us to upscale our farming abilities over time.
“Potager Farm is key to Greenman Group’s commitment to reducing its properties’ environmental impacts on their surroundings. The vertical farm will be located on a retail park owned by the Greenman OPEN fund, gaining a competitive advantage for its tenants.
“The fund has committed to diversifying its income, stating that by 2025, 5% of its annual revenue will be generated from non-rent related activities (5by25). These activities include, among others, sustainable farming activities and promoting local and traceable food supply.”
IGS has already been supplying its vertical farm technology to companies globally. French firm Jungle gained access to over 5,000 m2 of growing space using IGS’s vertical farming solution in September 2020.
Additionally, in January this year IGS announced a new solar-powered farm would become an Australian-first vertical farm solution, growing leafy greens, specialty crops and begin the development of indigenous crops in the country.