“We don’t sell technology, but we run a farming company for and with the customer”

“We will take the risk together, because we own the farm. And with that we want to emphasize that the relationship with retailers needs to change. Growy does not sell technology, but operates a farm with and with the customer. That’s why we as farmers are just as responsible for the farm as the retailers for the store, that’s how The only ones we guarantee are that the consumer gets their food and we can really make a difference,” says Ard van de Kreeke, founder of Growy.

Growy was formerly known as GrowX. The company is creating a retail brand with three main themes: delicious, healthy, and affordable food. “We focus on farming and building and running vertical farms. We sell nutrition-rich products like leafy greens, strawberries, potatoes and duckweed. My puppy has already grown to about 70 people, and there will be more every month,” says Land.

Ard van de Kreeke (Image credits: Innovation Origins)

New growing facilities in the United States, the Middle East, and the European Union
Growy has big plans for the coming years. The company plans to roll out several farming facilities in different cities. These vertical farms are fully automated, so it does not require human labor, only for maintenance. Everything is arranged in the head office in Amsterdam. All crops are grown on cellulose paper, which keeps the planting very clean and does not generate any waste.

Ard says Growy is in talks with retailers in Europe, the United States and the Middle East about several contracts to build new growing facilities. The first large vertical farm will be launched this year. Then more to follow. All farming facilities are linked to different points of sale and partners with the aim of e-commerce.

The vertical farms will be next to the points of sale and will be completely self-sufficient in energy, water and CO2. In vertical farms, different waste streams from retail partners are used to regenerate certain processes. Growy will discuss with retail partners which crops to grow on vertical farms.

A picture of the experimental farming facility

Growy grow beds will be slightly different from those of other vertical farms. Ard explains that all plants are grown in gutters. This keeps costs low, as the company does not have to purchase expensive and heavy lifting equipment. A “simple” lifting robot is sufficient to move gutters over the planting facility. This reduces the cost price and the number of risks and increases the degree of automation.

The robot also waters each crop based on its weight. Each plant automatically receives the amount of water it needs. Ard points out that this system saves a lot of water. All auxiliary materials have been developed in-house. “This is more efficient and allows the company to significantly reduce the cost price. In addition, it is very beneficial to integrate all the software into one system that Growy can control.”

To achieve a low cost level, you need to implement more than just automation. There is also climate management and light use. The vertical farm consists of different growing cells, each 150 m2. “The advantage of this is that we can give each crop a different growth profile every day.”

Benefits of working on a vertical farm? Fresh little veggies during every lunch break!

urban food tower
“Vertical farms are very conveniently located next to points of sale. But they also need to be visible to consumers, especially to expand our brand and show its benefits: future food production.”

Growy presents the Urban Food Tower (Growy House), a circular and modular wooden building located in the center of a large city. Growy rolls out urban food towers in the US, Singapore, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The idea is that the multi-storey building will house a shop with a restaurant, where consumers can sample food and have a drink.

There is a glass-walled cultivation facility on the first floor. Visitors can learn how vertical farming works, how plants grow and what are the advantages of the cultivation method. A rooftop greenhouse will be built to grow cucumbers and tomatoes. The building will accommodate meeting rooms and catering companies can organize events.

research projects
In the coming years, R&D trials will be conducted along with AMS and WUR, which will also be held worldwide in various urban towers. Research facilities at five different locations around the world are incorporated into the Growy House under the Growy Labs name. This will provide a lot of specific research and development for different regions and, most importantly, for the vertical farm sector.

“We will conduct extensive research for each market to analyze the potential of different local markets. To this end, we will collaborate with universities from different regions. Together we will analyze local food habits and farming options. We will then respond to this with all parties involved.”

for more information:
Ard van de Kreeke

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