World leaders – including President Biden and Pope Francis – could dine on ‘vertically farmed’ vegetables at the global climate change summit in Glasgow later this year, it has been revealed.
Crops of legumes grown in skyscraper-like towers are among the healthy food options awaiting delegates at the Cop26 event in the city in November.
Scottish agritech business Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) is behind the scheme to sustainably satisfy the appetites of delegates between 1 and 12 November.
The plans were sown by firm boss David Farquhar during a private meeting with Conservative MSPs Murdo Fraser and Edward Mountain last year.
Details of the meeting, only recently published on the Scottish parliament’s lobbying register, revealed that talks took place at the firm’s demonstration facility based at the James Hutton Institute – a world-renowned crop and plant science research centre near Dundee in September 2020.
Notes submitted by IGS on the register explained the purpose of the lobbying was to “inform the members of a proposal for a farm in Glasgow that would grow produce… to feed Cop26 delegates at the Scottish Exhibition Centre in November 2021”.
It reads: “We outlined some of the proposals for this activity, including feeding delegates and promoting this through media, positioning Scotland as an innovative agritech leader.”
The conference will take place at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC), where food and drink is provided by Levy Restaurants UK, a leading British caterer in arenas, sport, leisure and hospitality.
Vertical farming is the practice of producing food in vertically stacked layers indoors under artificial conditions of light and temperature. With the use of total controlled-environment agriculture (TCEA) technology, all environmental factors can be controlled to optimise plant growth.
The innovative practice offers reductions in food miles and water wastage, as well as the elimination of the use of pesticides. It also allows produce to be grown locally and on demand, which according to the James Hutton Institute, could reduce fresh food waste by up to 90 per cent.