Vertical Future discusses the potential of controlled environment technology at the UK Farm to Fork Summit 2024

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Vertical Future (“VF”), a UK-based Controlled-Environment-Agriculture (“CEA”) technology company, today (14 May 2024) attended the UK Farm to Fork Summit 2024 at No. 10 Downing Street along with several industry leaders and policymakers. VF’s Founder and CEO Jamie Burrows was personally invited to join a discussion on how collaboration between the public and private sectors can help tackle current challenges within the farming and food industry. VF designs, manufactures, and deploys intelligent, integrated, autonomous vertical farming systems globally with further use cases beyond food, such as pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, integration with greenhouses, and research and development for application in outer space (substantiated by a recent international grant with the UK Space Agency). With adaptability and integrity at the forefront, VF’s systems deliver robust, reliable, and resilient CEA systems allowing produce to grow in any geography, regardless of seasonality and weather conditions.

The breakout session hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak covered the opportunities and barriers to innovation in the farming and food sector, including gene editing, automation, research and development, net zero innovation, and artificial intelligence. The expected outcomes include designing projects in partnership with the government to grow an innovative and resilient farming and food industry that meets its economic potential and recruits the next generation of farming and food leaders.

Farming in England is going through significant changes and has faced unique challenges in recent years. The severely wet past 18 months in the UK alone is just one example of how climate change-related extreme weather conditions can have devastating effects on our domestic crop production. In response to that, the government is launching the largest ever grant totalling £427 million, with £220 million invested in productivity and innovation in farming, £116 million in slurry infrastructure, and £91 million in improving the health and welfare of farmed animals. The discussions at the UK Farm to Fork Summit 2024 are of extreme importance to outline how the government and private sectors can cooperate and design a strategy that will boost sustainable growth and support the industry in a meaningful way.

Commenting on his contribution to the discussion, Founder and CEO of Vertical Future, Jamie Burrows, said:

“It was an honour for Vertical Future to have been invited to represent the vertical farming and CEA sector more broadly at this year’s Farm to Fork Summit at Downing Street. Public-private collaboration is key to the future of our food systems and innovative AgriTech companies such as ours can help propel the UK to reach its food security and environmental goals to not only survive, but thrive and prepare for an uncertain future. As a business, we conduct extensive R&D and commercial activities with a growing number of industry, governmental and academic partners across the world, focused on improving CEA economics and increasing the quality and availability of crops for end-consumers.”

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