GrowUp Urban Farms
Producer: GrowUp Urban Farms, London
Product: Sunflower shoots
Region: London and South East
Category: From the earth, primary
Congratulations to GrowUp Urban Farms for being awarded the accolade of ‘Highly Commended’ for their sunflower shoots at the 2017 delicious. Produce Awards. Click here to find out more.
What they do:
GrowUp Farms is the UK’s first commercial aquaponic vertical farm. It was established in 2013 by Kate Hofman and Tom Webster, who were spurred on by the idea of making sustainable, urban farming a mainstream concept in Britain.
By making use of unused urban space and aquaponic technology (a no-waste, closed-loop system), they hope to reduce the impact agriculture has on the environment.
Aware that they’re based in an area with one of the highest unemployment rates in London, Hofman and Webster have also made a conscious effort to recruit farm assistants from around Newham, training them up to and paying them the London Living Wage. All their staff members have joined the company and are keen to drive sustainable food from concept to a fully functioning farm.
Out of their warehouse in East London, GrowUp supplies fresh, salads, micro-greens and herbs on sustainable, small-scale for local restaurants and online groceries. Their microgreen sunflower shoots are proving popular for their subtle lemon flavour.
What the judges said:
The judges were extremely impressed by GrowUps commitment to employing local people and teaching them sustainable skills. The panel commented that the whole operation is very “thoughtful” and “thorough”, admiring the project’s demonstrable respect for the environment.
Visit the website:GrowUp Urban Farms