OneFarm announced in a press release the completion of a USD 8.81 million funding round to finance the first phase of its 70,000 sqft farm in Newmarket, Suffolk. The proceeds will finance Suffolk Farms’ construction, equipment, and fit-out of the first seven, 9m high controlled environment growing towers, enabling the first harvest to be advanced to the fourth quarter of 2022.
“Although we have further to go to fund the complete project, we are delighted to have reached the level where we can build the first phase and create the exacting conditions for growing our fresh produce. It means we can focus more of our efforts on constructing the farm, growing our much-needed produce, and finalizing discussions with retailers and catering companies, who will be our first customers.” OneFarm CEO Mira Merme comments “As we have been saying for some time, the food supply situation in the UK and around the world continues to deteriorate. Fresh, healthy, tasty food with proper environmental credentials needs to be grown and sourced locally. We have the ambition to do this at scale, helping to reduce the UK’s reliance on imported greens, herbs, and vegetables.”
The UK Vertical Farming Market Grows Exponentially
Driven by the first effects of Brexit, the pandemic, and the desire to guarantee food security within the country, the UK has seen important activities from both local and international companies. Indeed, local companies such as Intelligent Growth Solutions or LettUs Grow have made the front lines in recent weeks inking landmark trials with the UK ministry of justice, or showcasing vertical farming technologies to the UK government. Other companies such as IAG Group & University of Essex have recently successfully raised funds for new facilities.
International companies such as InFarm opened one of the largest urban farms in Europe, in Bedford, UK. This is Infarm’s first high-capacity Growing Centre in the UK, the facility measures 10,000 sqm and can feature up to 40 Infarm cloud-connected farming units, each standing 10 meters high. Each unit can grow more than 500,000 plants per year – the equivalent of a football field worth of crops.