Yorkshire-based sausage producer Heck Foods has announced plans for a vertical farm, as part of its ‘Foogle’ plan to create a ‘Silicon Valley of Food in the Vale of York’ and has applied for £500,000 of grant funding.
There are currently few public details of the scheme, but co-founder of Heck Foods Debbie Keeble said, “We are farmers turned producers but now we are able to look to the future of agriculture and how we drive our business forward. There are huge benefits to vertical farming – no pesticides or herbicides, less water, no transport, less food waste, higher production, better shelf life – the list is endless. Our aim is to be able to produce a wide range of leafy veg and herbs that we can use across the range, delivering tasty flavours from farm, to factory, to plate.”
Richmond MP Rishi Sunak added, “Its companies like Heck that are really putting Yorkshire on the map as a county of excellence for food and growth… The plans for vertical farming are hugely exciting as this method is precise, time-efficient and waste-free method of growing and will provide inspiration for other producers looking for future food innovation.”
However, the plans have been overshadowed by criticism of the firm’s recent photo opportunity with Tory leadership contender Boris Jonson. They were accused of hypocrisy for appearing to endorse Boris with a special sausage pack, after Debbie Keeble said in 2017 that Brexit would be disastrous for the business.
Photo source: Heck Foods