Tech Tyfu’s story
Vertical farming allows growers to control the environment of their crop, which improves water and nutrient use efficiency by up to an order of magnitude, as well as allowing growers to create the conditions necessary to grow out of season crops, reducing pressure on the food supply chain as well as transport, packaging, and refrigeration costs.
Their success has seen the initiative Scale-Up to include more producers who will receive further advice and guidance, cutting-edge equipment and ongoing business and marketing support.
Promoting food tourism and strengthening the local supply chain in north west Wales, project officer David Wylie, based at M-SParc on Anglesey, said:
“We are delighted with the results and positive feedback received from the growers. They have demonstrated there is an appetite for tasty, fresh micro greens while securing sales from restaurants, independent stores and from consumers at food fairs and events.
The next step is to open this up to more supply chains and measure success in other areas; along the way we will be exploring research and development opportunities and continuing to push the boundaries of innovation to highlight the benefits of vertical farming and open another channel for farmers, businesses, and the food industry to diversify.”
Useful learnings from Tech Tyfu
The topography and climate in North Wales do not complement conventional growing methods of certain crops. However, vertical farming in its controlled environment allows producers to grow staples such as broccoli, radish, pea shoots and kale - crops not native to this region.
Growers with an organic growing background have been drawn in by the benefits vertical farming: the reliability and predictability of harvests, reduced water use and fewer pest issues.
Vertical farming is already one of the fastest growing sectors. Tech Tyfu does work with schools and allotment growers to familiarise more communities with this new way of growing food and to encourage more people to embrace it.
Support from the local hospitality sector – caterers, pubs, restaurants, and retail customers – has been very important in the uptake of produce, from micro greens to herbs.
Tech Tyfu’s metrics
Volume of healthy micro-greens produced
Range of customers in local hospitality sector