A new ‘vertical farm’ is being developed in Beddington to improve the conditions of farming, and the quality of produce.

Harvest London is a sustainable farming company with an aim to “build a network of data-driven farms.”

The initiative uses hydroponic vertical farming techniques which entails growing food vertically by using stacked trays on top of each in a closed space.

The 40,000 square feet unit will allow crops to be grown all year round, without the need for chemical pesticides and using reduced amounts of fertilisers.

Harvest London say this cleaner process will “reduce the emissions from the transportation, processing, and refrigeration of food, whilst increasing the shelf life and reducing wastage".

It adds: “Vertical farms are controlled environments which help to reduce negative environmental impacts whilst improving productivity per square metre compared to traditional agriculture, strengthening food security of the UK.”

Harvest London describes the idea behind this revolutionary farming as stemming from “concerns growing about the security and sustainability of food systems, new farming methods are needed to reduce the negative environmental impacts of food production, including supply chain emissions, land and water use, and soil degradation.”

Harvest London already has a farm in east London, and with an investment from Foresight, a sustainability led asset and investment manager, there are hopes for the farm to expand its current operations beyond London.

Matt Hammond, a partner at Foresight, said: "This approach to farming will play a pivotal role in shaping a more sustainable future and meeting the country’s food needs.

“The next phase of expansion will positively impact job creation and stimulate the local economy.”

Chris Davies, founder of Harvest London said: "This investment is a sign that the vertical farming sector in the UK is maturing.

“While you might not yet have tasted something grown in a vertical farm, in the future this type of produce is going to be on your menu, whether that’s from a supermarket, in prepared food, or eating out.

“Vertical farming is a technology that can complement British agriculture, helping us reduce our reliance on food imports, and give consumers fresher, more local ingredients.

“We want to make the UK a world-leader in this exciting new industry.”