Plantagon launches its first City Farm in the Swedish capital Stockholm following a successful crowdfunding campaign. It will be the first of ten city farm units to be built by 2020.
Under the iconic Dagens Nyheter Tower building (DN-Skrapan), up to 30 metric tonnes of high quality food will be produced yearly – from a location previously being used as a newspaper archive.
The City Farm project – underground farming in cities – kicked off in January 2018 with a crowdfunding campaign at FundedByMe, and we succeeded beyond our target by raising SEK 4.4m (~€435,000) from 559 investors, reaching 119% of our financing goal.
The first facility is now in operation and will be followed by ten more before 2020.
“The reason for the crowdfunding campaign was that we believe people who care about the future of cities, food production and the health of our planet should be given the opportunity to be a part of the solution,” says Owe Pettersson, CEO of Plantagon International.
“To us, it is important to create and expand together, showing that we are a movement for healthy sustainable food. Together, we can make a difference and we are very happy that the campaign succeeded and for the great response!”
70% of the crop produced in the City Farm will be herbs and spices and 30% will be especially nutritious vegetables, like different cabbage and salad varieties. The harvest will be sold to local grocery stores, restaurants and through our own shop in the same building as our City Farm. Our produce will be distributed and sold within 900 meters of the farm, thus minimising transportation.
Creating a sustainable business
We aim to start up two new City Farms during 2018, with more to follow in 2019-2020. Our first City Farm is placed under a large office building, DN-Skrapan. By capturing the heat from the LED lights that helps the plants grow – heat that normally would have to be vented out and require air conditioning to keep ideal conditions for the plants – we can send it into the heat system for the building to keep it warm through the winter, making a “win-win” situation where we supply heat instead of paying rent.
Plants need carbon dioxide to grow and where traditional greenhouses burns fuels to provide it, we use the carbon dioxide from human exhalation in the offices that we send to the farm, and fresh oxygen from the plants is sent back to office workers.
Large-scale underground urban cultivation means that real estate companies will be able to charge more for premises that otherwise would not generate particularly high income, and could add a ‘green’ profile to their property portfolio.
The Plantagon City Farm saves 99% of water consumption compared with traditional agriculture, and carbon dioxide emissions are reduced to almost zero, while 70% of the energy used is reused. By saving and reusing resources, production costs are reduced so that the price of food becomes affordable.
A response to the needs of the future
According to UN estimates, about 70-80% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. Already 80% of the world’s agricultural land is in use. As more and more people move to ever-expanding cities, production will be driven by what we need to eat, but move further and further away from us. The result will be longer transport times, increased dependence on fossil-based fertilisers and more high-intensity farming on the limited farmland that remains.
Plantagon® City Farm Stockholm is a response to the need for new solutions for sustainable food production that can provide a growing urban population with food, while maximising the use of the existing spaces. Cultivation takes place in a controlled environment, without pesticides and herbicides. The farms are run by Plantagon Production Sweden AB, a subsidiary of Plantagon International AB.
City Farm: vertical farming combined with office space
A new type of greenhouse for vertical farming; an international Centre of Excellence for Urban Agriculture; a demo-plant for Swedish clean-tech and a climate-smart way to use excess heating and CO2 from industries. That is what we are working on in the city of Linköping, Sweden: a 17-story office building combined with a greenhouse.
Two-thirds of the building will be office space that can be rented, and, as in the City Farm, heat from the greenhouse will warm up the building during winter. The plan is to open it in 2020 or 2021. Plantagon is also planning a similar solution for Singapore, where the lack of land for farming means that most of the food is imported from other countries. Plantagon has, since its very first day, been working from a global perspective, where the construction of our intangible assets such as patents, industrial designs and trademarks is very important. On the other hand, we are building our future business model on the licence revenues from the technology that we are now developing.
Plantagon aims to be the world’s best developer of smart food systems for the city. R&D and the resulting technological innovations are the principal factors for Plantagon International’s business success.
Plantagon International’s innovation strategy involves benefiting from technological innovations by using the full range of intellectual property rights in the development of urban agriculture globally.