The world of agriculture is constantly evolving, and a pioneering UK vertical farm, GrowUp Farms, is leading the way with its groundbreaking Unbeleafable® range of ready-to-eat salads. This innovative product is the first of its kind to be grown on a vertical farm and sold in a major UK supermarket. Three delightful varieties from the Unbeleafable range will be available in selected Tesco stores starting from July 26th.
The Unbeleafable salads are cultivated at GrowUp Farms’ vertical farm, Pepperness, located in the fertile county of Kent. In this cutting-edge facility, salad leaves enjoy the perfect growing conditions, resulting in a remarkably fresh and flavorsome product. What sets Unbeleafable apart is that these salads are grown without the use of harmful pesticides, and they don’t require chlorine washing like conventionally produced salads. As a result, Unbeleafable leaves are tastier and have an extended shelf life, making them superior to other ready-to-eat bagged salads found in UK supermarkets.
One of the primary driving forces behind the creation of Unbeleafable is the staggering amount of food waste associated with bagged salads. Research conducted by Unbeleafable revealed that a staggering 98% of consumers admitted to throwing away bagged salads. However, Unbeleafable salads, with their longer freshness, are less likely to end up in the trash, thus reducing unnecessary food waste. This not only benefits the environment but also provides better value for shoppers.
Moreover, Unbeleafable represents a significant step toward bolstering the resilience of the UK’s food system. Currently, the UK imports a staggering 67% of the salads consumed each year, and during winter, this number rises to over 90%. Such heavy reliance on imports can result in supply chain challenges, as seen earlier this year when UK supermarket shelves went bare and temporary rationing was introduced due to demand and supply issues. By cultivating Unbeleafable salads year-round in Pepperness, GrowUp Farms contributes to making the UK more self-sufficient and less vulnerable to external disruptions.
Pepperness, as a vertical farm, boasts several sustainable advantages over traditional agriculture. The farm operates on 100% renewable energy sourced from its neighboring bioenergy plant. Additionally, once fully operational, Pepperness is projected to use 94% less water compared to ready-to-eat salads grown in conventional fields or greenhouses. This commitment to sustainability aligns with the growing concerns of consumers who are increasingly passionate about making environmentally responsible choices.
Kate Hofman, the Founder of GrowUp Farms, attended Rishi Sunak’s Farm to Fork Summit earlier this year, representing the vertical farming industry. She expressed her pride in the Unbeleafable initiative, highlighting how consumers were amazed by the superior taste and extended freshness of the salads. Many customers admitted they had no idea lettuce could taste this good or last all week. This positive response reflects the need for change in the bagged salad category, and Unbeleafable is here to revolutionize it.
Alex Edwards, the Category Buying Manager for Horticulture and Prepared Produce at Tesco, expressed his enthusiasm for offering customers a diverse selection of fresh produce at affordable prices. He acknowledged the widespread popularity of bagged salads throughout the year and praised the sustainability and extended freshness that Unbeleafable brings to the table.
Unbeleafable is more than just a range of ready-to-eat salads; it represents a groundbreaking approach to sustainable and locally produced food. By supporting this innovative initiative, Tesco not only provides its customers with a superior product but also contributes to a more resilient and eco-conscious food system in the UK. As the demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly products grows, Unbeleafable is setting a precedent for future innovations in the agriculture industry, proving that vertical farming is a viable and rewarding solution for our changing world.
Image provided by GrowUp Farms