World's most advanced vertical farm opens in Gloucestershire

The Forest of Dean is now home to the world's most advanced vertical farm, as Jones Food Company opens its second facility in Lydney this February 2024.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
Vertical farming business, Jones Food Company, is opening what it's calling the world's most advanced vertical farm near Lydney in the Forest of Dean.

Innovative vertical farming business, Jones Food Company, is bringing the world's most advanced vertical farm to Gloucestershire this February 2024. 

Located near Lydney in the Forest of Dean, JFC2 is the company's second vertical farm in the UK. It grows 12 different herbs and salad leaves, including basil, coriander, flat leaf parsley, dill, lettuce, pak choi and baby leaf cress, which it supplies through its Homegrown range of salad bags; its Lēaf range of sauces and salad bags; and own-label herbs.

Running on 100 per cent renewable energy, it features cutting-edge technology and bespoke designs across water usage and irrigation; heating; ventilation; air-conditioning; and automation, to drastically increase profitability. 

Head of growing, Glyn Stephens, said: 'A lot of vertical farmers have focused on lights, but temperature and humidity control are where the real energy guzzle has traditionally been, this is why it's been a core focus for us opening this new site, it's small changes and learnings from JFC1 that mean this system now accounts for a much smaller proportion of our energy usage.

'Irrigation is another massive innovation in this farm and the system in JFC2 is boundary-pushing, ground-breaking, utterly unique and another key brick in how we deliver premium product, at a great price, at scale. 

'These aren’t small steps, they are giant leaps which allow us to put ‘vertical farming and profitability’ into the same sentence for the first time!'

CEO and founder of Jones Food Company, James Lloyd-Jones, added: 'This farm represents a coming-of-age for agricultural technology in the UK; we have now cracked the code for accessible, sustainable, premium food being grown all-year-round, at a super-competitive price. Commercial success in this sector has always been the challenge, but this farm smashes it.

'There is a place for small urban vertical farms, but size, scale and affordability are how the VF revolution really delivers. Technology and sustainability, when married at this kind of scale, revolutionise food production, combat climate change, ensure food security, address labour issues and maximise efficiency. It’s a win-win-win-win.

'JFC2 leverages the UK’s world-renowned tech know-how, passion for plants and desire to reduce import dependence to radically evolve how we grow consistently high-quality, well-priced food at scale. By balancing automation and smart investments, we are ideally suited to work with the distribution networks of the large retailers, ensuring product is available for all.'

Jones Food Company is known as Britain's most successful vertical farming business, having opened its first facility in Lincolnshire in 2018 and an innovation centre in Bristol in 2022 — and has been backed by The Ocado Group since 2019. 

JFC2 at Lydney officially opens on Tuesday 20 February 2024. 

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