Indoor agritech specialist Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) will provide its indoor growing platforms to French urban agriculturalists Jungle.
IGS’s vertical growth towers, where plants are grown in trays stacked on top of one another, will be used by Jungle in its operations to supply crops to French retailers. The multi-million-pound deal will see IGS start producing the first growth towers by early 2021, scaling incrementally to a minimum of 17 towers by the end of 2021.
The Invergowrie-headquartered company offers a patented highly controllable plug-and-play 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.
Jungle will utilise IGS’s platform to grow a range of herbs and salads, widen its portfolio and produce new varieties through an ongoing programme of crop trials. In addition, it will develop a variety of botanicals to provide natural ingredients to a world-leading flavour and fragrance business.
As part of Jungle’s mission to produce crops in a sustainable manner, it conducted an extensive search to identify the best technology partner to help scale production while maintaining its standards.
IGS was selected as it was the most capable of helping Jungle reach the industrial scale required by its customers.
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IGS CEO David Farquhar said: “In recent months, global markets have been challenged considerably and export agreements have become more difficult to fulfil.
“The announcement of this deal is an exciting one not just for IGS, but also for the UK’s agritech sector as we showcase our international capability to support economic recovery post-coronavirus. The Jungle team has a strong reputation for the 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.”
Jungle CEO Gilles Dreyfus 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.”