Industries in Depth

This company grows crops inside, stacked on top of one another

These crops grow all year and have less environmental impact than traditional farming. Image: Our Planet, Netflix

Joe Myers
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Agriculture, Food and Beverage

Is it an agriculture or a tech venture?

AeroFarms is blurring the lines between the two with its vertical farm.

Crops are grown inside, under lights, one on top of the other.

Image: Our Planet, Netflix

The advantages are numerous: higher productivity in a much smaller area; shorter growing times; lower water use; fresh produce grown much closer to where it’s eaten; and, AeroFarm executives say, improved food taste.

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“On one hand we’re a farming company,” explains Chief Executive David Rosenberg. “On the other hand, we’re a technology company.”

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The perfect growing conditions

Technology is central to making a vertical farm work.

AeroFarms uses an aeroponic system to provide the right amount of water and nutrients, with temperature and humidity constantly fine-tuned, so that each crop has the perfect growing conditions.

Image: Our Planet, Netflix

As a result, they can grow a variety of produce all year round, defying the seasons.

All of this adds up to farms that use 95% less water than traditional ones, while yielding up to 390-times more crops per-square-foot.

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Circular and nutritious

And all these wins start with recycled bottles.

That’s how AeroFarms make the cloth on which the crops grow, which is also completely reusable.

There are benefits both for the environment – including lower carbon emissions as a result of growing crops right in the centre of a city rather than having them transported – and for our health.

“One of the most exciting opportunities about changing the environment is improving nutrition,” says Dr. April Agee Carroll, Vice President of Research and Development at AeroFarms.

“We know if we can really improve that with different environmental conditions, then we can have a product that’s more nutritious, that can bring a better value to people in their diets as well as really improving human health.”

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Food for thought.

Read more about the inspiring pioneers finding creative solutions to the climate crisis here: https://wef.ch/pioneersforourplanet

About the series: Each week we’ll bring you a new video story about the people striving to restore nature and fighting climate change. In collaboration with @WWF and the team behind the Netflix documentary #OurPlanet. #ShareOurPlanet

Read more about it here.

Want to raise your #VoiceForThePlanet? Life on Earth is under threat, but you can help. People around the world are raising their voice in support of urgent action. Add yours now at www.voicefortheplanet.org

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Related topics:
Industries in DepthFood and WaterSustainable Development
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