Utrecht, Netherlands. November 15, 2021. Urban Health Farms (UHF) announces the opening of two R&D Farms, with production beginning in Venlo, the Netherlands on 1 November 2021 and in Brussels on 1 January 2022.
At the first Research & Demonstration Farm, UHF will be testing more than 20 different crops under 4 different growing environments as well as developing brand-new salad mixes with chefs and offtake partners for retail and hospitality industries. From there, steady, small-scale productions of leafy greens, herbs and microgreens will commence. This facility is in partnership with Brightbox, an initiative of Botany, HAS University of Applied Sciences, and Signify (former Philips), and is located at the Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo, which offers state of the art research facilities, as well as access to a kitchen and other specialist equipment, scientists and entrepreneurs who study the impact of nutrition on health, something UHF holds as a core value.
The second R&D Farm will begin production once the Venlo facility is producing at full capacity and is in partnership with Urban Harvest, a team of vertical farming experts. Like at the Venlo Farm, early harvests will focus on leafy greens, herbs and microgreens, as well as testing strawberry production. Located in Brussels at the Abattoir’s Urban Farm project, this Demo Farm has the ability to produce over 22,500 plants a month, utilising 9 different growing layers. The retrofitted Abattoir is the first facility of this scale in Europe and is a showcase for future proof commercial urban agriculture. Located in the heart of Brussels in the former meatpacking district, this previously abandoned facility promotes a circular economy by utilising rainwater for irrigation, 12,000m2 of solar panels for energy and revitalises urban areas for locally grown produce.
In the ramp up to our commercial indoor vertical farms in the Netherlands and Spain in 2022, the Research & Demonstration Farms will place a priority on R&D and co-development with potential off-takers as well as offering demonstrations, tours and taste-testing for investors and customers. With the produce grown in the R&D Farms, UHF will fulfill initial agreements with retail and food service providers and will donate any surplus to local food banks. Both of the UHF R&D Farms will be overseen by Wageningen University and Research graduate Jooseop Park as the agronomist and operator and will utilise the equipment, technology and knowledge of our partners.
“Our Demo Farms are an excellent opportunity to offer customers and partners the ability to taste the fresh, premium quality produce Urban Health Farms will be producing,” says Joost Verhagen, UHF’s Commercial Director. “We are confident that given the chance to savor the superior flavour and experience the freshness of our products, and see how efficient and sustainable production is will be a revolutionising experience.”
Bernard Sleijster, Urban Health Farms Founder & Director of Investor Relations and Business Development agrees that the Demo Farms are a great opportunity to exhibit the exciting things to come for Urban Health Farms. “Both of our Demo Farms offer unique benefits, and we are proud to be able to offer the opportunity to both customers and investors to come and see how efficient our indoor vertical farms operate while also maximising production in a sustainable way. The opportunity to actually sample the product and taste firsthand how fresh and flavourful our produce is can’t be overstated.”
About Urban Health Farms
Urban Health Farms aims to revolutionise the way food is produced and distributed through indoor vertical farms at the cutting-edge intersection between agriculture and technology. With plans supported by its strategic technology partner urban-gro (NASDAQ: UGRO) Urban Health Farms will have 2 commercial and 2 industrial-scale indoor vertical farms under development in Europe over the next 18 months, and an additional 6 industrial-scale indoor vertical farms per year over each of the next 3 years, Urban Health Farms aims to be the largest indoor farm operator in Europe by 2023. Further down the line, we aspire to grow into other markets and regions. Urban Health Farms will operate and manage our farms and will work with the strongest, most reputable technology providers on the market who will provide us with cutting-edge, efficient and strategic solutions. Together with our partners, we draw upon a vast and impressive pool of local resources, team members, market knowledge and capital. All of these factors combine with a proven concept in the form of large-scale, industrial vertical farming technology.
Bernard Sleijster, Founder/Director of Investor Relations & Business Development
Sales & Distribution Contact:
Joost Verhagen, UHF Commercial Director
Communications & Public Relations Manager