The man pioneering VF in an effort to save our food production

The man pioneering VF in an effort to save our food production

Continuing her profiles of people passionate about saving the planet, Clare Foster talks to the vertical farming specialist James Lloyd-Jones about how large-scale hydroponic growing without soil can have a key role in the future of food production

This month, entrepreneur James Lloyd- Jones is opening the world’s largest vertical farm in Gloucestershire. His business, Jones Food Company, already supplies around 30 per cent of the UK’s cut basil, which is grown at an existing site near Scunthorpe. However, this new farm, at 15,000 metres square – the equivalent of 75 tennis courts stacked one on top of another – will be recordbreaking in both size and technology, enabling the company to supply British supermarkets with hundreds of tonnes of super fresh herbs and salad leaves.

‘We import over 50 per cent of our salads, herbs and flowers in this country. It’s crazy,’ says James. ‘The nutritional content of the food goes down, the longer it waits to get onto the shelves. With our system, the crops are harvested and on the supermarket shelves within 12 hours. We are cutting out a whole chain of events that consume huge amounts of energy – from flying produce in by air to transporting it in large trucks. We are also using considerably less water than traditional agriculture and there is less food waste, which is one of the biggest culprits for carbon emissions.’

Continue reading.

Photo: James Lloyd-Jones photographed at his company’s Innovation Centre in Bristol, where different crops and new technology are trialled. Credit: Jooney Woodward



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