“In the next ten years we will supply 70% of UK fresh produce.”
This is the claim of James Lloyd-Jones. You can hear his BBC interview here.
He is engaged in building vertical farms. They use no soil, no pesticides and water is collected from the roof. Its energy is most produced by its own renewable energy.
If you are an Ethiopian or Kenyan flower grower, or a South African or Moroccan blueberry producer, this firm – JFC – plans to end your exports to Britain.
As James Lloyd-Jones told the BBC the first crops he is growing are leafy greens and salads.
Next will come soft fruit – strawberries and blueberries.
Then he plans to produce flowers and other crops.
This is how JFC says they will do it:
“Our indoor vertical farms use a unique hydroponic system to feed our plants exactly what they need – from light, to nutrient rich water, to CO2 infused air.
Our produce is therefore always harvested at the perfect time, all year round, to provide the freshest ingredients to your plate.
Growing indoors removes the need for chemicals, so we only use approved biological controls to make sure our crops are ready to eat!”
The claim that this will almost extinguish British agricultural imports is a huge one, which will need to be tested. But a grim future for African farmers could be just over the horizon.