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Mar 30

Discover the UK strawberry vertical farming industry

March 30 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm BST

The second of two UKUAT webinars focusing on growing strawberries in total controlled environment agriculture (TCEA) systems.

Strawberries can be grown in TCEA. That is well established. Challenges exist, but the industry is thriving to tackle them. Are you wondering where the UK urban farming industry is in terms of the development of TCEA strawberry systems? Are you keen to ask questions about pesticide use in TCEA? Or where the plants are coming from? Or questions about the yields and the fruit quality (size, Brix)? UKUAT brings to you a panel discussion to answer all these questions.

This panel is the second online event, which succeeds the intro webinar with title ‘What is the secret to growing strawberries in TCEA?’. Following some of your questions, we bring to you two fine organisation members of UKUAT to share their experience working with strawberries in TCEA and answer more of your questions.

Dr. Csaba Hornyik from Intelligent Growth Solutions Ltd. and Peter-James Lennox from Kroptek will be our panellists, and Katia Zacharaki will facilitate the discussion. The webinar will be interactive, engaging and will provide a collision space for like-minded interested growers, producers, scientists and enthusiasts for this field. And of course, there will be opportunities for a live Q & A at the end of the session.

Dr. Csaba Hornyik, Plant Scientist at Intelligent Growth Solutions Ltd.

Csaba is an experienced plant scientist having a background in plant development, molecular biology and pathology. His main role at IGS is to plan, carry out and analyse crop trials focusing on the development of environment recipes for crops growing in a total controlled-environment. Csaba also develops the crop portfolio and manages customers trials at the vertical farm in Invergowrie, Dundee.

Strawberry is in the focus of several customers and the industry needs a reliable supply of propagules. The vertical farm is suitable to grow strawberry plants from seeds, grow them up and produce runners to further propagate the plants. All of the different stages of plant development need special settings which could be set in the vertical farm. We develop recipes for germination, early-stage growth and runner production. Root development is also under optimization to produce strong propagules during a short time. Flower and berry production is out of scope for IGS at the moment, but optimization is underway for flower development and berry production.

Peter-James Lennox, Project Manager at Kroptek

Peter is a project manager at Kroptek for the last two years, an LED grow lights and farming solutions company – with over 16 years of experience in the horticultural industry. Having previously worked as a Designer Manager in the technology sector made him realise the lack of equipment and knowledge in the TCEA horticultural industry. This, combined with the passion developed from growing up in a strawberry farm that only used soil, inspired me to find the best solutions for the horticultural sector.


Katia Zacharaki is working as Senior Research Engineer for Digital Farming involved in leafy salads, microgreens and strawberry research. She is working on her PhD with Harper Adams University and supports UKUAT as Communications Director.