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Vertical Field to deploy green-wall farms in Ukraine supermarkets

Israeli startup signs accord with Ukraine agricultural distributor Moderntrendo for pilot to set up vertical farming installations at national supermarket chain Varus

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

An illustration of vegetables growing on walls by Vertical Field. (Courtesy)
An illustration of vegetables growing on walls by Vertical Field. (Courtesy)

Vertical Field, a startup that has developed a vertical farming system, has signed an accord with Moderntrendo S.R.O, an agricultural distributor in Ukraine, to deploy its plant installations in supermarket chains nationwide.

Vertical Field will conduct an initial pilot at Varus, a national supermarket chain, in early 2021 before expanding to other chains. Varus operates 95 stores across 25 cities and attracts approximately 260,000 customers daily.

Vertical Field’s soil-based installations are made up of separate blocks of plants that can be rearranged at will to produce locally sourced vegetables. This green wall of vegetation is suitable for growing vegetables in stores, offices and apartment buildings, or anywhere in urban areas, which have little space but many walls.

The firm, formerly called Green Wall Israel, said that products grown with its farming method are pesticide-free, generate less waste than conventional agriculture and utilize 90 percent less water, growing in precise quantities in a controlled environment with shorter growing cycles.

A Vertical Field container stationed at the Tel Aviv port (Courtesy)

The farms are modular, expandable, and moveable, with fully automated crop management and a sterile environment that requires significantly less human contact. The crops that are currently offered include lettuce, basil, parsley, kale, and mint, and are competitively priced, the firm said in a statement.

Guy Elitzur, the CEO of Vertical Field, said in the statement that the project with Varus will lead to “more projects in the near future with more chains in Ukraine.”

“One of the realizations that have surfaced during the COVID-19 crisis is the need to develop solutions that allow urban residents access to healthy food, with minimal human handling and without depending on transportation and shipping from remote locations,” he said.

“Today, we are creating a pilot project together with Vertical Field, which in the future will only benefit society, because the introduction of innovative and proprietary technologies for vertical cultivation of products for the urban ecosystem by Vertical Field is a new level in the Ukrainian market,” said
Bondar Denis, a director at Moderntrendo, which is a distributor of produce in Turkey, Eastern Europe and Asia.

In December Vertical Field signed a “multi-million dollar” agreement with Israeli discount supermarket chain Rami Levy for the installation of its vertical farming containers on the stores’ premises.

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