Strawberries are tastier when eaten as soon as possible after being harvested. Unfortunately, many markets are prevented from accessing red gold. From inappropriate local growing climates to seasonal differences or even lack of space to grow them, strawberries are not always easy to find. “At Urban Harvest, we offer solutions for urban growers to grow strawberries anywhere, anytime,” says Alexandre Van Deun, co-founder of Urban Harvest.
Urban Harvest is an AgriTech company based in Belgium with the aim of reducing the use of arable land and returning it to nature to improve biodiversity. They provide convenient vertical farming solutions for growing strawberries and leafy vegetables and for propagating cuttings. Urban Harvest has a proven track record in designing and building commercially viable vertical farming solutions.
A strawberry trial
The Urban Harvest method
The company has successfully used its own in-house designed vertical farming solutions for the past two years, growing over 50,000 pot herbs per month for the Belgian retail market. “This is what we call extensive testing,” explains Olivier Paulus, co-founder of Urban Harvest.
Urban Harvest has multiple test beds to improve every aspect of the solution and reduce both CAPEX and OPEX while increasing efficiency and simplicity. They also continue to work closely with their customers to analyze field data from sensors and grower observations.
The Urban Harvest Vertical Strawberry Farm is specially designed for the new generation of urban growers. This solution is to relieve the business owner of the uncertainty of production so that he can concentrate on selling the product.
Olivier Paulus (in front) and Alexandre Van Deun (behind)
Build your farm
“We have observed many solutions which all seem complex and only add to the challenge of reducing the investment cost per m2 or growth area” adds Alexandre. “Our solution is a permanent and very strict regime; we don’t care about the bling.
The Urban Harvest solution is technology and vendor independent, based on standardized modules for racks, HVAC, irrigation / fertigation and LEDs. Customers can easily request the use of specific components to tailor the solution to their needs.
The whole solution is designed in such a way that the vertical farm can be easily built by the producer himself.
Growing strawberries on a vertical farm always comes at a cost. However, the return is a high quality product all year round, free of pesticides and grown with minimal water consumption, geographically close to the end consumer.
Urban Harvest focuses on regions where added value over challenges tilts the balance in favor of the former. This translates into an increased sales effort to the Middle East and Asia and to remote regions where the high level of imports is driving up crop prices.
Sharing is loving
“We have put a lot of effort into working with industry stakeholders. We believe this will bring us success in pursuing our goal of increasing biodiversity by restoring arable land to the planet, ”said Alexandre. “We love working with experienced professional growers to share ideas on how to increase yield and, at the same time, reduce ecological impact. “
Urban Harvest is currently seeking inbound sales and marketing team members and strategic partners or investors for the target regions.