Pioneer of vertical farms capsized by rising energy costs

File photo showing crops being grown under LED lighting. Photo:

Future Crops, pioneers of vertical horticulture in Poeldijk, declaration of bankruptcy Tuesday follows other closures in the now ailing sector.

Curator Jan Joost Wittekamp could not be reached for comment, but higher production costs due to higher energy prices are likely at the root. Financiere Dougblood Said.

As advertised three years ago, “Europe’s largest vertical farm” relies on electricity for the artificial lighting system used to grow stacked layers of herbs and soft fruits.

Founded by Israeli management and funded by American steel magnate Rahman, the farm covered 3,000 square meters of floor space over nine floors and grew approximately 85 tons of produce annually. Albert Hein Supermarket Group was among its customers, he said.

Investments in vertical horticulture have become a global hype among private investors, especially because they were seen as more sustainable than conventional agriculture, FD said. However, the war in Ukraine has made LED lighting to replace sunlight much more expensive.

Dutch vertical farming business Glowfarms has already thrown in the towel, citing rising energy costs, and Amsterdam-based German Infarm has laid off about 500 workers. Publicly traded vertical farming company Carrera sold all of its non-U.S. operations late last year as investor interest dwindled, the newspaper said. Pioneer of vertical farms capsized by rising energy costs

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