Pioneering vertical farm, GrowUp Farms, has won the Climate Award (a Sustainability Excellence Award) in this year’s Fresh Produce Consortium Fresh Awards. The Fresh Produce Consortium Fresh Awards features a range of categories that recognise and celebrate all aspects of fresh produce, honouring the industry’s best.
GrowUp Farms, which is the first vertical farm to launch branded salads into major UK supermarket groups and has the Unbeleafable salad range in Tesco stores nationwide, was announced as a winner in a glittering awards ceremony in London on 29 September.
GrowUp Farms was one of 14 contenders for the three awards up for grabs in the Sustainability Excellence category. The Climate Award is presented to a business that is “driven to preserve, protect and enhance our living environment, halting or reversing land degradation, understanding ecosystem services or adopting water optimisation techniques”.
The judges said: “The GrowUp Team has worked ambitiously over the last 10 years; making great progress to produce quality food without harming the environment.”
Kate Hofman, who co-founded GrowUp Farms ten years ago, said: “We are over the moon to win the Climate Award in these prestigious awards, and this win reflects the hard work, passion and dedication of the entire GrowUp Farms team, both at Peppernessin Kent and also at our R&D facility, the Leaf Lab in Cambridge.
“At Pepperness, we’re growing salad that stays fresher for longer, helping shoppers cut down on food waste and save money. Pepperness, our state-of-the-art controlled environment farm in Kent represents a significant shift for the UK salad supply chain – at full capacity, a bag of ready-to-eat salad from Pepperness has 93% fewer embodied carbon emissions than the average bagged salad that you’d buy in the shops today.
“We are a certified B-Corp, and we are now focusing on reducing GHG emissions elsewhere in our operations and supply chain by optimising our production and improving our packaging.”
This is the first major award won by the company, which is up for a total of 9 other awards to be announced between now and the end of the year.
GrowUp Farms, which is the first vertical farm to launch branded salads into major supermarket groups, has its two new salad brands – Unbeleafable and Fresh Leaf Co. – shortlisted in the Deli Category of The Grocer New Product Awards. Unbeleafable and Fresh Leaf Co. are the only salad brands to be named as finalists in this category.
Unbeleafable has been named as a finalist in the Salad category of the Quality Food Awards too.
GrowUp Farms has also been nominated in four categories in this year’s Fresh Produce Consortium Fresh Awards. Chantelle Cohen, a vital member of the People team at GrowUp, has been nominated for Rising Star of the Year, while GrowUp has been shortlisted for three other categories, including Best Place to Work, Sustainability Excellence Award and Team of the Year award.
Kate Hofman, Founder and Chief Brand Officer, has been named as a finalist in the 2023 Barclays Entrepreneur Awards in the Sustainability Category. The awards spotlight entrepreneurs who are shaking up their industries, who bring positive change to the economy and society, and unleash innovation.
Also in the Barclays awards, GrowUp Farms has been shortlisted for the People’s Award, a unique category in the Barclays Entrepreneur Awards, which gives the public the opportunity to choose the winner.
Hofman has been nominated for a second award, making the shortlist for the prestigious 2023 Great British Entrepreneur Awards in two categories: the Sustainability Entrepreneur of the Year and the Equity-backed Entrepreneur of the year.
Described as “The Grammys for Entrepreneurship”, The Great British Entrepreneur Awards recognise exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, dedication, and remarkable achievement within their industry. They celebrate the outstanding individuals and businesses that drive innovation, generate employment opportunities, and contribute to the growth of the UK economy.
Hofman is a trailblazer in the vertical farm world; in the past 10 years, she, has taken the concept of vertical farming from a small aquaponic unit in London, to a significantly larger vertical farm, Pepperness, in Kent, which is unique among UK vertical farms because it uses on-site renewable energy and can therefore grow food with a lighter environmental footprint.
Earlier this year, this farm, which is backed by £100 million investment, became the first vertical farm to sell a branded bagged salad in a major UK supermarket with the launch of Fresh Leaf Co. into Iceland stores across the UK. Fast forward four months and GrowUp Farms, led by Hofman, launched the first range of salads grown in a vertical farm into Tesco stores.
Hofman said: “The last 10 years have been amazing. To think how much GrowUp Farms has grown from its humble beginnings in East London to securing a £100 million investment, building a new farm and launching the first vertically farmed salad brands into major supermarket groups – it’s been the most incredible journey.
“And to make the shortlist in five major awards is a real honour. The GBEAs and Barclays awards are much-coveted awards and The Grocer New Product Awards are the most highly sought-after accolades in the food and drink industry. The icing on the cake is our latest nomination in the Salad category in the Quality Food Awards. What a year 2023 has been and bring on November for when we find out how we have done in the six categories in the four different awards.”
The winners of The Grocer New Product Awards will be announced on 7 November, the GBEA awards on 20 Novembers, the Barclays Entrepreneur Awards on 29 November, the Quality Food Awards in November and the Fresh Produce Consortium Fresh Awards on 29 September.
GrowUp is thrilled to announce that both of their brands have been named finalists in The Grocer New Product and Packaging Awards 2023!
GrowUp’s newest salad launch, Unbeleafable, is a finalist in the Deli Category. Unbeleafable is a tasty, nutritious, and affordable salad that stays fresher for longer in y’fridge. The Unbeleafable rocket & baby leaves salad delivers crisp and delicious leaves, providing an ultimate salad sensation for their customers.
In an exciting twist of events, Fresh Leaf Co.’s red + green baby leaf salad has also sailed through to the finals in the Deli category. Fresh Leaf Co’s commitment to providing great quality salads at affordable prices has resulted in recognition as a finalist in the awards.
The Grocer New Product and Packaging Awards are an annual competition that celebrates the best products in different categories. The awards focus on innovation, taste, packaging, and product quality. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Tuesday, 7th November 2023.
GrowUp Farms, a leading sustainable vertical farm, was recently showcased on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today program. The segment highlights their innovative approach to salad production and the future of agriculture. Co-founder Tom Webster and Head of Farm Commercials and Operations Ben Logan joined journalist Dominic King for an insightful discussion on the benefits of vertical farming.
By utilizing controlled indoor environments and hydroponics, GrowUp Farms produces high-quality salad crops consistently and sustainably. The segment delved into the advantages of vertical farming, including reduced waste, increased freshness, and improved value for customers. This feature on Farming Today not only highlights the accomplishments of GrowUp Farms but also serves as an excellent opportunity to increase awareness of sustainable farming practices and the potential of vertical farming to revolutionize the agriculture industry.
To listen to the feature on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today and learn more about GrowUp Farms’ groundbreaking operations, please visit the following link:
In an engaging podcast, Rob Smith from Kent Wildlife Trust sat down with Gillon Dobie, Impact Director at GrowUp Farms, to discuss the future of sustainable farming. This informative conversation sheds light on GrowUp’s innovative vertical farming techniques and practices, offering valuable insights into establishing and maintaining a sustainable vertical farm.
Gillon Dobie shares his experiences and highlights the challenges faced by GrowUp Farms on their journey towards sustainable agriculture. He emphasizes the role of technology and ecological understanding in developing their successful model. The podcast serves as a resource for individuals interested in sustainable agriculture, environmental conservation, and those seeking knowledge about vertical farming.
Listeners can catch the podcast on Kent Wildlife Trust’s website, where they can learn more about GrowUp Farms’ inspiring work and the transformative impact of sustainable farming practices.
To watch the podcast, head to Kent Wildlife Trust’s website: Watch here