Vertical farming brings food production close to the consumers

  • City of Espoo
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environment
17.11.2022 10.34
The vertical farming module developed by Arctic Farming Oy in the Restaurant Henricus on the Espoo campus of Omnia.

Omnia, the Joint Authority of Education in Espoo Region, and Arctic Farming Oy have began cooperation that aims to grow fresh ingredients for Omnia lunch restaurants in the restaurant facilities. With the innovative vertical farming technology invented in Finland, herbs and salads will grow in the dining room of Restaurant Henricus. When the ingredients are produced in the facilities of the company, the customers can be provided with fresh products that have been harvested only minutes or hours before the final product is served.

Arctic Farming Oy, which operates in Otaniemi, Espoo, has developed a vertical farming system appropriate for the hotel, restaurant and catering sector. In the farming system, the plants are grown with nutrient-rich water without any soil. The vertical farming system enables growing ingredients independent of the season, location, or current weather conditions. Herbs, salads and berries grow considerably faster than traditional farming, without pesticide and fertilizers. The process also saves about 95% of the water used in traditional field cultivation. 

As part of the cooperation, the representatives of Arctic Farming Oy trained Omnia personnel and students in tank farming and how to use the vertical farming equipment. The green industry students ensure that the plants have the correct growing conditions and the laboratory industry students monitor the nutrient content of water and study how changes in the water affect the quality of the final product.

Richard Keogh, Chef at the Restaurant Henricus, says that the herbs cut from the vertical wall are of high quality and have a heady scent. The vertical farming modules placed in the dining room of the restaurant have attracted a lot of positive attention from the customers and other guests at Omnia.

Cooperation with Omnia provides unique opportunities to create new competence to support the rapidly growing vertical farming market, says Oliver Rotko, the CEO of Arctic Farming Oy. Vertical farming and urban indoor farming are growing industries that can be used to create considerable additional value for the HoReCa sector and more broadly for the food industry. According to Rotko, it is important that the future top talent of these industries get to familiarise themselves with vertical farming and its advantages during their studies.

What could the green transition mean for the development work in your company?

Building a carbon-neutral society requires bold thinking and new approaches. Espoo has the ability to take up this challenge. Join us in developing future solutions in Kera, Otaniemi and Kiviruukki! The Implementation Pathway for Environments that Accelerate Sustainable Growth KETO project boosts cooperation between businesses, schools and research organisations, and creates concrete development environments that promote the green transition and digitalisation. The project is run by the City of Espoo, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Aalto University and Omnia, together with several business partners. Project is funded by European Union’s REACT-EU ERDF and is part of the European Union’s response to the covid-19 pandemic. 

  • Sustainability
  • Entrepreneusrship
  • Innovation work