How Can Vertical Farming Go Green?
Kevin Lin is on the lookout for feasible partnerships in Europe, MENA, Southeast Asia, America, and beyond. As someone who cares deeply about health and sustainability, he recognizes the growing demand for better food systems. In this short Q&A, Kevin discusses how vertical farming can go green through optimizing technology and sourcing renewable energy.
1. How does YesHealth Group plan to address the energy-intensive nature of vertical farming?
Relying on LED technology means that vertical farms use more energy than traditional farms and greenhouses. Therefore, the first part of the equation is to optimize our LED technology and water systems, so we reduce our energy needs. If you compare our current 6th generation of LED technology with our 1st generation, there has been a significant reduction in the amount of energy used.
The second part of the equation looks at external factors. Everywhere we build a vertical farm, we try to find a renewable energy source that we can tap into. In Denmark, we're using wind energy. In warmer climates, like in the MENA region and certain regions of Asia, we would rely on solar energy. We look at projects through the lens of local or domestic energy sources.
2. How can vertical farming become more accessible in less developed regions?
Vertical farming is still a young industry. It has been maturing over the last decade, but that doesn't mean it's already in its final stage. When we meet people who want to partner with us, we emphasize that we're not in competition with field agriculture. The advantages that we bring in terms of food security, year-round stability of supply chain, taste, quality, and our whole catalogue of advantages amount to offer a premium product.
Our technology is developing and we're driving down the costs, but realistically it will still take a few years before our products can be considered accessible in most regions.
3. How does vertical farming tackle food security issues?
Last year, when the pandemic hit, the issue of food security suddenly became much more elevated than before. It showed the whole world that there is still room for improvement in terms of food supply chains.
As the pandemic grew, companies and government bodies began addressing vertical farming as viable means of food production.
We call it ultra-local farming. In a big city, for example, we can build a vertical farm within a 10-20km radius and this helps ease supply chain issues. Vertical farming allows for a very controlled way of growing food and essentially removes other food security issues regarding E. coli, bacteria, and pesticides, etc.