Fischer Farms, an agritech group, is currently conducting trials on vertically farmed strawberries and soft fruits at their research and development farm in Litchfield, UK. This development coincides with the conclusion of the renowned Wimbledon tennis tournament, known for its consumption of 38.4 tonnes of strawberries annually.
The team at Fischer Farms' has been cultivating various soft fruit crops within a biosecure and controlled environment as part of their three-phase plan to address global nutrition needs.
Phase one involves the cultivation of herbs and short, leafy greens at their vertical farm in Norwich, utilising cutting-edge vertical farming technology at scale.
Currently, phase two crops (soft fruit) are being grown at their R&D facility, while continuing trials for phase three crops. Fischer Farms emphasised the importance of embracing vertical farming innovation to tackle ongoing challenges faced by traditional British farmers, the conventional farming community, and the UK food supply chain.
These challenges include labour shortages during specific seasons, climate constraints, and water limitations.
The adoption of vertical farming has the potential to provide year-round British-grown produce, transforming the stability and resilience of the UK's fresh produce supply chain.
Tristan Fischer, the CEO of Fischer Farms, acknowledged the substantial capital investment required to ensure the supply of all berries served at Wimbledon. However, he also highlighted the significant returns and the potential to revolutionise agriculture, safeguarding global food security in the process.