SCOTTISH technology to create one of Europe’s largest vertical farms.
Indoor agri-tech specialist IGS has today announced a significant export deal with experienced French urban agriculturalists, Jungle. The multi-million-pound deal will introduce IGS indoor growing platforms to Jungle’s operations, initially outside Paris, to grow a variety of crops to supply major French retailers.
The first growth towers will be in production by early 2021, scaling incrementally to a minimum of 17 towers by the end of 2021. Jungle will grow a range of herbs and salads to supply select retailers across France. The company will utilise the patented IGS plug-and-play vertical farming platform to widen its portfolio and produce new varieties through an ongoing programme of crop trials.
Jungle’s indoor growing operations will also develop a variety of botanicals to provide natural ingredients to a world-leading flavour and fragrance business.
Jungle’s ethos is focused on sustainable food production, with superior quality of crops grown through a more efficient model, re-localising the supply chain, considerably reducing waste, and using no chemicals. With extensive experience in the indoor growing space, the company has achieved recognition in the highly competitive retail market in France for the quality of its produce.
To increase the scale of production sustainably, while maintaining its commitment to high-quality, delicious, and pesticide-free produce, the company conducted an extensive search to identify the best technology partner.
After a thorough and competitive review of the market, IGS was selected as the most economically viable and environmentally friendly system capable of meeting Jungle’s requirements to reach the industrial scale required by its customers. IGS offers its customers a highly controllable platform, designed to maximise productivity whilst minimising energy and water consumption.
When completed, the nine-metre-high growth towers will be housed alongside a 1,500 m2 service area on Jungle’s site outside Paris. This will provide approximately 5,200 m2 of growing space, producing up to 425 tonnes per annum when fully operational, making it one of the largest vertical farms in Europe.
David Farquhar, IGS CEO, commented: “In recent months, global markets have been challenged considerably and export agreements have become more difficult to fulfill. The announcement of this deal is an exciting one not just for IGS, but also for the UK’s Agri-tech sector as we showcase our international capability to support economic recovery post-coronavirus. The Jungle team has a strong reputation for excellence and sustainability both of its produce and approach.
“Jungle needs a reliable, productised system that can meet its ambitious growth plans in France and beyond and IGS has proven to be exactly that, following a rigorous selection process. This deal is proof that our unwavering commitment to innovative, practical design, based on a deep understanding of delivering optimum growing conditions, is what customers want. The deployment of the system for Jungle begins immediately and I am encouraged by how well our teams are collaborating as we move forward together.”
Gilles Dreyfus, CEO of Jungle commented: “We have established Jungle as a grower of superior produce with major French retailers and have plans to build on this reputation as we look at operations in other regions. This partnership agreement is a significant step forward for Jungle and our ability to deliver at scale for our customers. We are proud to be innovators in our sector and it is important that we find people and organisations who share this same vision.
“We undertook a very serious assessment of the market and IGS was a clear leader in our eyes. What we can offer our customers through the partnership with IGS puts us at a different level in terms of scale, flexibility, and potential to expand and develop our produce portfolio. The IGS approach, both with the technology and the team, is such that we feel completely aligned and able to work collaboratively now and into the future.”
IGS has received recognition from the Scottish Government for the exciting export opportunities it is bringing to the Scottish market. Trade Minister Ivan McKee MSP said: “This significant contract underlines IGS’ standing as a global leader in agricultural innovation which will help everyone farm more sustainably. IGS’ growth has been driven by a focus on quality, innovation, and scientific expertise and shows what Scottish companies can achieve with the right support in place.
“International exports have a central role to play in our economic recovery from COVID-19. The Scottish Government has set an ambitious target of increasing the value of exports from 20 percent to 25 percent of GDP by the end of the decade and I look forward to IGS helping us achieve that goal.”