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Sep 21

UKUAT Webinar: Vertical farming in the UK: Perceptions of sustainability

September 21, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm BST

A talk about some research into consumers’ and producers’ perception of sustainability in vertical farming. Followed by a discussion.

The world demographic is rising with predictions projecting it to reach 9 billion people by 2050. Hence, this results in an increase in urbanization as their population is predicted to reach 7 billion by 2050. Therefore, to ensure food security within cities, alternatives are being evaluated. Potential has been found in urban agriculture and its sub-divisions but more precisely in vertical farming.

Therefore, this research will focus on evaluating the sustainability of vertical farming within the UK through the perspective of consumers and producers. To ensure both sides’ perspectives were taken into account, the research adopted a mixed methodology method which used a survey for consumers and interviews for producers.

The results of this research indicated the importance of the price for the consumer, which shows that, as mentioned by the producers, the price tag can be a limiting factor to the potential purchase. This limit cannot be neglected by the producer as the importance of the economic pillar in their sustainability is vital, as is the social perception of vertical farming and CEA. Hence the economic pillar is the primary factor for both consumer and producer on which they believe vertical farming’s sustainability lies. However, the importance of this pillar is influenced by the comprehension of the food industry by the consumers.

Speaker info: Benjamin van Gansberghe has just completed his master thesis in research regarding the potential that vertical farming has to boost local production in the UK.