Ocado Sinks £17m into Vertical Farms Which is Like a Regular Farm, but Taller

By Shabana Arif on at

In an effort to reduce the time your herbs and veggies spend being carted around after being picked, Ocado is investing a whole chunk of cash into sustainable vertical farms.

Some of that money has been spent on buying a 58 per cent stake in Jones Food, a company that uses commercial hydroponics to grow produce in a controlled environment on stacked trays - hence, vertical farming.

Jones Food Scunthorpe farm is powered by renewable energy, recycles all of its water, and doesn't use pesticides.

"We believe that our investments today in vertical farming will allow us to address fundamental consumer concerns on freshness and sustainability, and build on new technologies that will revolutionise the way customers access fresh produce," said Ocado's chief executive Tim Steiner.

"Our hope ultimately is to co-locate vertical farms within or next to our [distribution centres] and Ocado Zoom’s micro-fulfilment centres so that we can offer the very freshest and most sustainable produce that could be delivered to a customer’s kitchen within an hour of it being picked,” he added.

Ocado invested the rest of the £17m in Dutch company Priva, that specialises in climate control technology, and in a US vertical farm business.

Ocado recently announced that its deal with Waitrose was coming to an end, and revealed that it will be delivering M&S groceries as of September 2020. [BBC]

Feature image credit: Jones Farm