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Vertical farming in urban areas to help reduce food miles

Vegetables growing in indoor farm(vertical farm). Plants on vertical farms grow with led lights.

Vertical farming in urban areas is the new frontier of sustainability. The Greenman Group, the European real estate investment and fund manager, has launched Potager Farm, a vertical farming business using technology that dramatically reduces the number of food miles required to feed growing urban populations.

Vertical farming is the process of growing herbs, leafy greens and micro veg indoors in a tower structure, usually in urban areas. It often uses advanced farming techniques, growing crops without soil while maximising growth in a confined space.

Potager Farm, headquartered in Berlin, will enable the Greenman Group to implement vertical farming into its grocery-anchored retail centres across Germany, selling more environmentally friendly produce year-round by reducing food miles and avoiding the use of pesticides and other chemicals. As the largest importer of fresh herbs in Europe, there is huge scope for the adoption of vertical farming technology across Germany.

Mario Gatineau, Managing Director, Potager Farm

“Vertical farming is expanding rapidly across Europe as agricultural space becomes increasingly scarce and pressure on the sustainability of supply chains and food production continues to mount,” said Johnnie Wilkinson, CEO, Greenman Group. “Potager Farm is an exciting new venture and we are extremely well placed to leverage our relationships with some of the largest food retailers in Germany to drive this initiative forward and play our part in improving the sustainability of the food supply chain.”

The initiative places the Greenman Group at the forefront of a revolution in new agriculture technology, he said, as the group’s experience within the food retail sector has shown that vertical farming will become an increasingly important part of the food supply chain in Europe.

Potager Farm will cooperate with IGS, a Scottish based technology business that builds vertical farms for farmers and growers in food, pharmaceutical and fragrance markets around the world. Its technology has so far been deployed across four continents.

Mario Gatineau has been appointed as managing director of Potager Farm because of his expertise in the sector. He spent four years as training program developer at Infarm, one of the largest vertical farming businesses in the world. During his time there, he was responsible for running training  programmes across the globe and supporting the expansion of the business in Europe.