GrowUp Farms to set up vertical salad farm at Sandwich's Discovery Park as part of £100m investment

A major new salad farm is coming to Kent as part of one firm's £100million investment to transform British food production.

UK-based GrowUp Farms is to create what is known as a 'vertical farm' at the Discovery Park site in Sandwich - creating 40 jobs in the process.

A major new salad farm is coming to Discovery Park. Picture: GrowUp Farms
A major new salad farm is coming to Discovery Park. Picture: GrowUp Farms

Vertical farms are where crops are grown on stacked layers which allows the use of what park chiefs describe as "game-changing technology".

It will grow 'restaurant-quality' leafy greens that 'stay fresh for longer'.

It will join nearby Thanet Earth which covers 220 acres of land in Birchington in growing salads on an industrial scale and stocking supermarket shelves all year round.

GrowUp Farms says the Discovery Park scheme will use 95% less water than conventional growing methods, without the need for pesticides and directly powered by renewable energy.

The move comes after the firm, and sustainable infrastructure company Generate Capital, announced they were investing more than £100m to "transform British food production" by accelerating GrowUp's vertical farms - and the first beneficiary of the cash will be Kent.

Discovery Park is set to welcome GrowUp Farms
Discovery Park is set to welcome GrowUp Farms

The San Francisco-based Generate Capital builds, owns, operates and finances sustainable infrastructure projects with more than 2,000 projects operating around the world.

The controlled production environment used by GrowUp means the salad leaves do not need to be processed which extends their life span on the shelf and in the fridge.

It is thought the salad crop produced at the site will save up to three million lorry miles per year by avoiding imports. It will soon start to recruit for 40 jobs to operate the farm.

Kate Hofman, who co-founded GrowUp in 2013 said: “Discovery Park gives us access to on-site low carbon renewable energy which enables us to produce competitively as well as focus on our environmental impact."

Mayer Schreiber, chief executive officer of Discovery Park, added: “This investment will bring game-changing technologies to Kent, making a sustainable difference to how we feed ourselves."

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