A Hull family of growers stretching back five generations is transforming modern farming.
Graham and Matt Dunling are the father and son team behind Worldwide Local Salads, based in Hull. The first of its kind in Yorkshire, the farm is built upon the family's wealth of expertise and impressive farming credentials.
According to Grahame, the farm is using less power and a unique lighting system allows them to grow more economically than other vertical growing companies.
The benefit of this farming style is that the environment can be entirely controlled to create optimal conditions for growing crops, and it also saves a great deal of space compared to conventional farming. For instance, in a vertical farm with five layers of crops on different shelves, you can grow almost five times as much in the same footprint of space as you could in a field.
"We spent 12 months perfecting the system as we wanted to grow quality crops consistently but at an affordable price to the public as our opex is lower. We also wanted to grow more stable crops and not just Microgreens, hence we grow."
Having worked across the world building vertical farms, including the very first in the UK, Graham has been nicknamed 'The Godfather of Vertical Farming.'
At Worldwide Local Salads, they are not just interested in producing the best quality and best-tasting food. They also aim to do it in a way that is economically responsible too. They guarantee that their salad will last much longer in the fridge than supermarket brands, meaning less is wasted.
They have also created a lighting system for vertical farming that uses 40% less energy than their competitors. They believe that for these reasons, the government and supermarkets should start championing local farming.
"Officials need to back local growers, as we've been around for generations. But, if they just want to fund research and development and technology, they're missing out on something important that only experienced growers can offer," Matt said.