Change Suite

Vegetable-growing reaches new heights in Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Developers are transforming a windowless industrial hall outside Copenhagen into what will be Europe’s largest vertical farm with lettuce, herbs and kale grown from 14-storeys of scaffolding reaching from floor to ceiling.

The farming system is intended to use less space than traditional cultivation and will use a purple-hued LED light on the plants to replicate sunlight.

“We offer a more sustainable way of producing food year round, locally, without disturbing nature,” founder of Nordic Harvest, Anders Riemann, told Reuters.

In 2016, around 37% of the earth’s land mass was used for agriculture, according to the World Bank.

Climate change and conflict can threaten the availability of land for farming, and the World Food Programme says a quarter of the world’s productive lands have been degraded, hitting food security.

The vertical farm, installed in a 7,000 square meter hall, will first focus on herbs, kale and lettuce, but developers say they will be able to grow berries within two years and root vegetables in five to ten years.

Developed by Nordic Harvest and Taiwanese YesHealth Group, the farm will aim for an annual production of 1,000 tonnes next year and for profitability.

Reporting by Tim Barsoe; Editing by Alexandra Hudson