16 Feb Next step towards Net Zero: Potager Farm starts construction of its first vertical farm in Germany
Potager Farm, the agricultural company that is a joint venture between the Greenman Group of companies and the fund Greenman OPEN launched in November 2021, announces that it has started the construction of its first vertical farm in Berlin. It has secured €3 million funding, 25% funded by the Greenman Group and 75% by its fund Greenman OPEN, ensuring interests of the Group and investors in the fund are aligned.
Comprising three six-metre-high controlled atmosphere towers with a total cultivation area of approximately 650 sqm, the vertical farm will be installed by the general contractor Plattenhardt + Wirth in partnership with Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) in one of the Greenman OPEN fund’s properties in the Berlin district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf.
Potager Farm is responsible for the concept design, planning and operation of the installation that will be completed in the third quarter of 2023, growing fresh produce to supply retail centres, supermarkets, retailers, restaurants, and hotels. Supporting Greenman Group’s ambitious sustainability commitments, the farm uses IGS’s innovative technology to grow crops in vertically stacked layers within an enclosed building where all environmental conditions such as light, heat, humidity and nutrients can be automatically controlled to maintain optimal growing conditions and conserve natural resources. The farm’s irrigation tanks will use water caught by its rainwater catchment system and Greenman Energy, sister company of the Greenman Group, will install photovoltaic panels on the roof of the building to supply the farm with renewably generated solar power.
Andonis Sarmias, Head of Facility and Construction Project Manager at Potager Farm, explains: “Upcycling and repurposing this industrial building is not only a great opportunity to build an efficient, future-proof and financially sustainable vertical farming hub, but also demonstrates our commitment to Greenman’s sustainability strategy, which follows a “convert not demolish” approach to our assets. The choice of the location, in close proximity to the Biesdorf Center retail park, is also a perfect example of how regional and sustainable food production can be brought into the urban environment and of how food can be produced within a radius of less than a kilometre from the supermarket.”
John Wilkinson, CEO of Greenman Group, adds: “Our ESG plan for the Greenman OPEN Fund portfolio is to reach net zero by 2050. We intend to achieve this through highly specialized subsidiaries and joint ventures that are part of an ambitious Group strategy and bring along the necessary expertise. We are convinced that local, sustainable food production without the use of pesticides is a crucial topic in the future of the food industry and food retail.”