Construction work has been completed on the world’s largest “vertical farm” outside Norwich – a £25m agri-science project which is bringing 27 new jobs to Norfolk.
The cutting-edge building on the Food Enterprise Park, at Easton, has created 25,000sqm of stacked growing space on tightly-packed racks of shelving.
Fischer Farms, the company behind the project, claims the four-acre site will have the capacity to supply 6.5 tonnes of leaf salad, lettuce, leafy herbs and other fresh produce to UK supermarkets every day, all year round.
Fischer Farms has completed construction work on its £25m ‘vertical farm’ in Norfolk – similar to its existing building in Lichfield – Credit: Fischer Farms
When fully operational, it says the climate-controlled building will be powered by 100pc renewable energy and use much less water than traditional cultivation methods, thus “paving the way for a more sustainable food production industry”.
Energy-efficient and low-heat LEDs will allow the lighting to be placed close to the tops of plants, enabling tightly-stacked vertical layers.
With construction work now finished and “just a few months until the doors officially open”, Fischer Farms has welcomed 10 new employees to the site, bolstering its senior management, technical and operational teams. It will be looking for 17 additional recruits in the coming months.
Tristan Fischer, founder and chief executive of Fischer Farms, said: “It’s a really exciting time for Fischer Farms, as we prepare to open the doors to the world’s largest vertical farm.
“We are growing our highly-skilled team in the coming months, which presents a fantastic opportunity for those who share our ambition of creating a resilient and scalable food production supply chain to join something really transformational.
“I am delighted to welcome our newest team members to the business. They will each play a vital role in the coming months, as we take over the building, begin our fit-out process, and seed our first tunnels.”
The company’s first vertical farm – one of the UK’s largest – opened in 2019 in Lichfield, housing 3,200sqm of growing space for short leaf food products, such as rocket, watercress, chard, basil, dill, and parsley.