Afina CEO David Godfrey-Thomas comments on a recent article by Rana Foroohar in the Financial Times, “Strawberries tell the story of an era of disruption”:

Amidst all the shifts in the global economy one of the most dynamic, important and overlooked, is technological change to farming. Driven by water concerns, soil health, climate change and consumer demand for sustainably grown produce, food production and the farming practices which underly it, will change more in the next ten years than in the last one hundred.

Foroohar’s article suggests that climate change and deglobalization have prompted businesses to adopt new farming practices. She writes:

One area to watch closely, because it is linked to climate change as well as disruptions such as cross-border migration and deglobalisation, is vertical farming. This involves growing produce on giant, multistorey walls that are nourished with precise levels of light and water, a concept developed by Columbia University professor Dickson Despommier.


For high-margin produce, vertical farming makes a lot of sense. It has the potential to slash the fossil fuel needed for harvest and transport, as well as reduce the risk of weather-related crop failures and cut fertiliser runoff and water waste. Done right, vertical farming uses about 5 per cent as much water as traditional agriculture. 

Read the rest of Foroohar’s article here.