FT Rethink

High-hanging fruit?: Feeding cities with vertical farming

The COVID-19 crisis put an inordinate amount of pressure on the agricultural sector. With over half of the global population on lockdown at the peak of the crisis and strict security and mobility measures in place, the usual chains of production and distribution were disrupted. Fear of food shortages led people to panic-buy. Images of empty shelves circulated on the news and social media, with popular items selling out more quickly than the shops could replenish them.

 

We believe rethinking our consumption is key, even more so in these times. Despite the COVID-19 squeeze, opting for local sustainable businesses that are working hard to sell organic, fresh, carbon neutral food can help pave the way to a better future.

Despite the COVID-19 squeeze, opting for local sustainable businesses that are working hard to sell organic, fresh, carbon neutral food can help  pave the way to a better future.

By 2050, 68% of the global population is expected to live in cities and eat 80% of food produced. And unless that food is grown near cities, the ecological footprint will be devastating. Today, forward thinking cities know transporting fresh food is carbon intensive. New methods of vertical farming, combining horticulture and data science, could produce food at 100 times the productivity rate of a field and 10% of the fresh food the world needs.

Meet the cities and companies thinking ahead of the farming curve.

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This document is issued by Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd or an entity of the Group (hereinafter "Lombard Odier"). It is not intended for distribution, publication, or use in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, or use would be unlawful, nor is it aimed at any person or entity to whom it would be unlawful to address such a document.