Quarterly Newsletter: Issue 2

Welcome our newest members!

Five new organizations joined the AVF this quarter. We look forward to long-term collaborations with Philips, Priva, Plantagon, WaterFarmers Aquaponics, and Wigan UTC. Along with 41 new individual members, these five organizations join us in a global movement towards understanding and progress in Vertical Farming.  

Philips /

Philips has over 75 years of experience in horticultural lighting and is now applying its expertise in the field of vertical city farming. With this definition a fully controlled facility is meant, where vegetables and herbs are grown on stacked layers without the use of daylight in, or close to a city. The purpose of this method is to provide fresh, healthy, clean and locally grown produce. Drawing on its fundamental knowledge of LED lighting technology and the role of light in plant biology, Philips’ dedicated ‘light recipes’ – optimized to the needs of specific crops – help to increase yields, to provide fresh and nutritious food the whole year round.

Priva /

Priva is leading the way in the development and production of technology to control environmental conditions in greenhouses and buildings in an innovative way. In the building industry, Priva develops and manufactures intelligent building automation systems which ensure a healthy indoor climate and sustainable energy for the users of the building.   

Within the horticulture sector, Priva enables entrepreneurs to produce healthy, high-quality food and ornamental plant crops in open field and greenhouses with minimum use of scarce natural resources such as energy and water. 

Priva has offices in eight countries and is represented worldwide in over 100 countries via a unique international network of Priva dealers and partners. Jointly with local parties, Priva offers our customers a platform of high-quality hardware, software and service support.

Plantagon International /

Plantagon is a Swedish company and the global innovation leader in urban agriculture sector. Plantagon develops resilient food systems that minimize the need for land, water, energy and pesticides with consideration of food safety fundaments and within concept of sustainable city planning by establishment of integrated symbiotic systems. Dedication to promotion of food-secure and self-sufficient cities and regions is an important goal for Plantagon as well; in that regards Plantagon provides the attentive cities or local governments with food security plans and consultancy services to increase their level of local food production. 

WaterFarmers Aquaponics /

WaterFarmers is an international consultancy for design and development of aquaponic food production systems. At WaterFarmers, we strive to lead in the design, development and innovation of intelligible hyper-efficient Aquaponic design paradigms, including low-footprint energy systems, materials, nutrition chemistry and microbiology. We translate these advanced sciences into value for our clients through our professional solutions, services and consulting operations worldwide. We are committed to providing clients technology based food security solutions nurtured by our value for high quality hyper-local "better than organic" food sources. 

Wigan UTC /

Wigan UTC’s Vertical farm is the world’s first controlled environmental agricultural facility using a Vertical High Density Growing System in an educational environment to train a new generation of urban food production technicians ready for the challenges facing the food production industry. Using Hydroponic and Aquaponic growing systems we are promoting urban agriculture in a pioneering new way.

US Food Safety Concerns Mitigated by Vertical Farming

With the rising popularity of urban agriculture and hydroponics, more people understand the rather obvious benefits to controlled-environment agriculture, which include water savings, year-round production, and pesticide-use reduction. This month I have been researching another benefit that consumers often take for granted: food safety.

According to the CDC, each year, “roughly 48 million people (1 in 6) get sick from food eaten in the United States” and “among all types of foods, produce accounted for nearly half of illnesses”. There have also been cases of food borne illnesses from improper use or manufacture of manure, either from sewer sludge contaminated Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). While food borne illnesses are notoriously hard to trace, it is safe to say produce grown in farms with exposure to the elements carry a higher risk of food borne illness than a greenhouse or vertical farm.

Milan Kluko of Green Spirit Farms, a vertical farm near Buffalo, Michigan agrees. We spoke on the phone about the subject and he says “food safety should be inherent in vertical farms”. Here are his reasons why:
  1. Growing indoors eliminates variables of wildlife, weather, and cross-contamination
  2. Traceability is much easier in indoor farming
  3. Technologies including floor cleaners, dosing systems, and water quality sensors make it easier to keep indoor farms clean
Read the full article including tips on keeping your operation food safe on

Are you an AVF member with a story to tell? Email with your submission to be featured to over 10,000 followers and in next quarter's newsletter. 

Released: First Version of Urban Agriculture Glossary

With the rapidly increasing number of businesses and institutions getting involved in Urban Agriculture and Vertical Farming, AVF and its members see the necessity for a global standard of terminology used within these industries. The first version of an AVF Glossary was recently released on AVF's website.

To find a common language and terminology to be used within this industry we need a collaborative effort of as many experts, companies and institutions as possible. Become part of the discussion by asking for access to the file through our website, or Linkedin Group to provide us feedback and input. 

Opportunity: Be a Guest Judge at December's Agritecture Workshop in NYC!

The AVF is sponsoring an upcoming collaborative workshop that brings together professionals from various industries together to develop concept vertical farms for NYC. The Agritecture workshop will be held December 5th and 6th at Columbia University in the City of New York and is free to attend for AVF members. The keynote speaker will be board member Dr. Dickson Despommier.

The AVF is seeking one lucky person to join Dr. Despommier and other industry leaders to judge the final presentations on the evening of December 6th*. The judges will be expected to grade the concepts on their innovation, sustainability, feasibility, and creativity. 

To enter the contest simply email your name, phone number, location and a short bio to Be sure to use the subject line "judge" when emailing. 

Read all about the event on LinkedIn. 

*Restrictions apply. Travel and accommodation to the event for the winner is not covered by the AVF.

Opportunity: Internships available with the AVF

Looking to make your mark in the sustainability industry? Excited by the emerging field of vertical farming? The AVF has just posted two exciting new opportunities to take part in the future of farming. 

  • Social Media Intern
  • Research Analyst Intern

Visit the AVF Careers Page for more info and other opportunities. 

If you are interested in advertising in the AVF newsletter, please email us at:

Upcoming Dates:


05-06.12.2014 - New York City, USA, Agritecture Collaborative workshop

09-11.03.2015 - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture

There is no better time to take part!

  • Connect with like-minded people and start or support new VF initiatives
  • Improve and share research and development
  • Strengthen political influence and encourage the implementation of VF worldwide
  • Take part in VF events and conferences
  • Learn more about VF and stay up to date with the rapidly evolving industry
Reach New Heights! Join the AVF

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