Vertical Future and Crate to Plate plot fleet of shipping container farms in London

Each of the 'container farms' will be able to produce up to five tonnes of leafy greens and veg each year with zero carbon footprint, the firms claim.

Urban farming specialists Vertical Future and Crate to Plate are together gearing up to rollout a fleet of indoor container farms in London, with each capable of producing zero carbon fresh salad and vegetables for swift delivery across the UK capital city, they announced yesterday.

Crate to Plate, an urban farming start-up, plans to use the 'container farms' designed by Vertical Future - a technology company focused on controlled-environment-agriculture (CEA) - across several new sites in London's Bermondsey and Stratford.

By using the container farms, Crate to Plate said it would be able to produce up to five tonnes of fresh produce - including lettuce, kale and rocket - per year, and then deliver it to customers within 24 hours with a zero carbon footprint, all without any use of pesticides or toxic chemicals.

The firm counts Ollie Dabbous, chef patron of Michelin-starred restaurant, HIDE, as well as independent grocers such as The Notting Hill Fish Shop and Artichoke in Hampstead among its customers.

Vertical Future's innovative farms, built within 40ft shipping containers, allow for highly-controlled indoor growing conditions, harnessing LED lighting, full climate control, and dual irrigation in order to create the optimal conditions for cultivating leafy salad and vegetables.

Proponents of vertical farming argue producing crops in such circumstances can reduce the amount of countryside land used for farming, better protect crops against the impacts of increasingly volatile outdoor climate conditions, and cut down on transport and logistics typically needed to ferry food from farms to urban centres. They also require far less water and zero pesticides.

"Our Container Labs create the optimal growth environment for growing fresh produce and can be deployed close to point of consumption, using minimal space," said Jamie Burrows, Vertical Future's CEO. "Using zero chemicals and growing crops in a controlled environment enables our partners to meet demand all year-round, as opposed to regular food production systems which are reliant on seasonal limitations."

By shifting towards using Vertical Future's 'Container Labs', Crate to Plate's founder Sebastien Sainsbury said the firm would be able to scale up its systems across the UK, while offering more efficient growing capabilities to improve both output and product quality.

"It's been incredibly encouraging and exciting to align with other dynamic, innovative and enterprising British business, which will help us to scale up our vision and execute our exciting opportunities both nationally and internationally," Sainsbury said.

Source: Business Green