First look inside Stacked Farm's new fully automated robotic VF

First look inside Stacked Farm's new fully automated robotic VF
All Photos: Stacked Farm Photography By Paul A. Broben

In an industry plagued by high-profile bankruptcies, Stacked Farm stands out with its sustainable model, announcing full production at its groundbreaking automated robotic vertical farm, where advanced technology and strategic vision set a new standard for efficiency and productivity in controlled environment agriculture (CEA).

Located in Arundel on the Gold Coast, Australia, this new facility spans 6,588 sqm, comprising 2,126 sqm workshop for future farm assembly and construction, a 446 sqm cold room, and a dedicated research and development wing. Standing 8.5 metres tall, the vertical farm features 20 growing levels within a 2,144 sqm footprint, equivalent to 4,320 sqm of ground-level space. It is engineered to yield 450 tonnes of herbs and leafy greens annually, surpassing any vertical farm globally.

Daniel Tzvetkoff, Stacked Farm’s Founder and Chief Architect, attributes the farm’s extraordinary production capability to its industry-leading proprietary technology and unique end-to-end automation processes. These innovations ensure optimal operational efficiency in the temperature-controlled environment without human intervention.

With a more cost-effective, sustainable and consistent approach, Stacked Farm operates 47% more energy efficiently and only requires approximately 10% of the staff compared to competitors, redefining benchmarks. The farm requires just six employees for operation and maintenance, with only these team members allowed entry to adhere to the highest hygiene standards.

“Traditional farming practices typically require 45-80 days for average crop growth and can be vulnerable to contaminants, climate and weather variations. Stacked Farm’s technology enables full growth in just 16-31 days, depending on the crop variety”, said Daniel.

“Our 180sqm dedicated research and development wing, comprising 12 rooms, is Australia’s largest industrial-controlled environment. Our plant sciences department ensures our produce meets the most stringent quality, safety and nutrition standards, resulting in nutrient-rich and pristine produce grown sustainably with minimal waste from seed to pack,” said Daniel.

Stacked Farm’s produce is grown without pesticides, herbicides, or contaminants and has passed the maximum 18-day shelf life test at an ISO 17025 laboratory, outperforming similar products on the market. Promoted as “Beyond Organic”, Stacked Farm’s produce sets a new standard for fresh produce.

Daniel elaborated, “We have plans to establish two commercial-scale farms per year, with each farm’s annual yield exceeding 3,200 tonnes of fresh produce. This is equivalent to nearly 5% of the national production of lettuce and leafy products in 2021-22, and matches consumption increasing at 5% per year”.

Stacked Farm is now scaling up for its new Melbourne facility, set to commence construction imminently. This facility will have a 10,000 sqm footprint and an output capability six times greater than the current farm to meet the anticipated demand.

“Our Melbourne farm will operate with just 15 staff and produce 88,460 bags of 100g produce per harvest, with five harvests each week. Once completed, the Melbourne farm will generate over $50 million in annual revenue and is expected to yield a return on investment in three years”, said Daniel.



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