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.