Wimbledon, the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, serves up 38.4 tons of strawberries each year. That’s 1.92 million strawberries, or rather 140,000 punnets throughout the duration of the tournament.
Agri-tech innovators, Fischer Farms, have revealed that trials of vertically farmed strawberries and soft fruits are now underway at their dedicated research and development farm in Lichfield, UK.
The team at Fischer Farms has been cultivating a number of soft fruit crops in a biosecure, controlled environment, as part of their three-phase plan to feed the world with nutritious foods.
Using the very latest vertical farming technology, Fischer Farms are currently growing phase one crops – herbs and short, leafy greens – at scale at their vertical farm in Norwich.
This technology is now being used to grow phase two crops – soft fruits – at their R&D facility, which will also be used to continue trials of phase three crops, which include calorific staples, such as rice and wheat and protein staples, such as peas and soya beans.
With ever-more pressure mounting on traditional British farmers, the conventional farming community and UK food supply chain needs to start looking towards vertical farming innovation to offer the solutions to longstanding issues such as shortages of seasonal labour, climate constraints and water limitations.
Vertical farming can deliver British-grown produce all-year-round, with the ability to transform the UK’s food supply chain, bringing stability and resilience to the fresh produce category.
Tristan Fischer, CEO at Fischer Farms commented: “Significant capital investment is needed to get to the point where we can safeguard the supply of all berries served at Wimbledon, but the returns will be significant, leading to the next agricultural revolution, safeguarding global food security.”