Global berry supplier BerryWorld has announced a strategic partnership with Dutch agtech enterprise SMARTKAS.
SMARTKAS is currently the largest vertical farm in the UK, and is set to provide BerryWorld with locally grown, premium quality strawberries for retail sales on a year-round basis.
The firm’s facility in Harlow, Essex, has over 27,000 square meters of growing space, making it the UK’s tallest and highest yielding vertical farm.
The company uses artificial intelligence to control all aspects of the growing cycle including light, water and CO2 to maximize the plants’ growing potential.
“This project really answers the call for environmentally sustainable production in the heart of our urban landscape and brings SMARTKAS and BerryWorld’s shared passion for quality and innovation closer to the consumer,” said Paul Avery, Sales Director at BerryWorld.
While the UK relies on importing strawberries from overseas in the off-season, SMARTKAS locally sourced crops make for a consistent supply.
“Our partnership with BerryWorld marks a turning point in the UK’s food supply chain and the way the country looks to secure locally grown year-round produce. Being indoors protects the plants from adverse weather conditions and allows us to create an optimal growing environment locally, resulting in a strawberry that not only tastes good but also makes environmental and economic sense,” added Mark Kirby, Chief Commercial Officer at SMARTKAS.