Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) has formed a partnership with Potager Farm, a subsidiary of grocery-anchored real estate firm Greenman Group, to build the first retail park-based vertical farm in Germany. Potager Farm will operate and run the farm in Berlin, supplying fresh produce to Greenman’s retail centres.
IGS will install two nine-metre-high growth towers in the retail park, which is owned by Greenman Group’s largest fund, Greenman OPEN, with the farm expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2023. Potager Farm is planning to grow produce to serve nearby supermarkets, retailers and restaurants.
The first crops that Potager Farm will grow include a selection of herbs and salads, which could comprise parsley, chives and basil, and leafy greens such as rocket and mustard leaves. The objective is to grow the produce in a controlled environment right at the point of sale, thus reducing food miles significantly. The vertical farming process uses minimal water and no pesticides, combined with an exceptional water recycling capability that means the only water leaving the farm is contained in the crops. This vertical farming initiative supports the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy and aim to create a more sustainable food system.
David Farquhar, CEO at IGS, said: “Potager Farm is a perfect example of how a business can bring sustainable, local food production systems to an urban setting, where the produce will be travelling, at maximum, only a kilometre or two before it reaches the supermarket or restaurant. Greenman Group’s commitment to Potager Farm and developing sustainable sites such as this is commendable. They are pioneering innovation across the retail sector right across Germany. We are excited that they have chosen IGS Vertical Farm technology to help them reduce their environmental impact and automate the growing process.”
Mario Gatineau, Managing Director at Potager Farm, commented: “We are delighted to create one of the most sustainable vertical farming facilities. IGS’s modular towers will allow us to expand our vertical farming system as and when required, enabling us to upscale our farming abilities over time. Potager Farm is key to Greenman Group’s commitment to reducing its properties’ environmental impacts on their surroundings. The vertical farm will be located on a retail park owned by the Greenman OPEN fund, gaining a competitive advantage for its tenants. The fund has committed to diversifying its income, stating that by 2025, 5% of its annual revenue will be generated from non-rent related activities (5by25). These activities include, among others, sustainable farming activities and promoting local and traceable food supply.”