Marks & Spencer is launching an “urban farming” scheme in its London stores, the retailer announced yesterday.
M&S Food has partnered with Infarm to grow fresh herbs – including basil, mint, parsley and coriander – at its branch in Clapham Junction.
The retailer said it has plans to roll-out the vertical farming units to stores in Ealing Broadway, Kensington, Bromley, Marble Arch, Stratford and Brent Cross by the end of the year.
M&S Food director of food technology Paul Willgoss said: “Infarm’s innovative farming platform is a fantastic example of what can happen when passionate agricultural, food and technology experts work together.
“We operate as part of a complex global food supply chain and want to understand the emerging technologies that could help provide more sustainable solutions, whilst also delivering fantastic products with exceptional taste, quality and freshness for our customers.”
Each Infarm unit is remotely controlled using a cloud based platform, which learns, adjusts and continuously improves the plant-growing process.
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“London represents many of the sustainability challenges that people will experience in cities over the next several decades,” Infarm chief executive and co-founder Erez Galonska said.
“By offering produce grown and harvested in the heart of the city, we want to practice a form of agriculture that is resilient, sustainable and beneficial to our planet while meeting the needs of urban communities – first in London, and in the future, cities across the United Kingdom.”
Main image credit: M&S