Netled has completed its first entirely remote deal and delivery of Vera vertical farming technology to its Poland-based partner, Vertigo Farms.
The deal with Vertigo is of particular significance for two key reasons:
Firstly, the project has taken place entirely remotely from signing the deal, assessing the space and planning, to shipping, delivery and commissioning.
Secondly, Vertigo Farms will use the Vera vertical farming technology to produce crops that will be used to make extracts for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries rather than for direct consumption by consumers. Vertigo Farms is the first publicly known European actor to produce natural extracts from plants grown indoors.
“The Vera vertical farming technology is very flexible in its applications, which suited our needs particularly well”, says Dawid Drzewiecki, CEO of Vertigo Farms. “The Vera Compact system allows for flexibility in its applications and modular growth of the vertical farm. Also, the initial investment costs for the Vera Compact system are very competitive”, he continues.
“This project was completed entirely remotely and the team engagement from Netled was very high. There are always small issues to handle and resolve in projects of this size, but they were handled very well by the Netled team”, Dawid adds.
Delivery of the Vera Compact vertical farming technology was completed in January 2021, and the first crop will be ready by mid March. Travel restrictions due to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic meant that all negotiations, planning, and even commissioning on-site in Poland had to be done remotely
“At first we were a little concerned about how we would be able to complete the entire project without physically visiting the space where the vertical farm would be built”, explains Johanna Kivioja, Chief Procurement Officer at Netled.
“Normally, we would visit the site during the planning stage, and especially during commissioning we fly one of our technicians over to make sure that the mechanical, electrical and automated controls are tested and work correctly. This simply wasn’t an option due to the travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic, so we had to get creative”, she continues.
“For the first time ever, commissioning took place completely remotely. A local Polish technician carried out the manual adjustments under our guidance, and we tested the software remotely from Pirkkala. It was really satisfying to see that we were able to complete the entire project, all the way up to commissioning, fully remotely. This is a clear sign that we are able to continue to plan and deliver projects, and therefore continue our international growth, regardless of the COVID 19 situation”, Johanna adds.
Vertigo Farms intend to continue to push the boundaries of what is currently possible with vertical farming technology.
“The Vera Compact technology and the built-in cutting edge LED lighting technology and nutrition delivery system is so flexible that we are starting to experiment with tropical plants”, Dawid Drzewiecki adds.
“We are the only vertical farm in Poland considering the pharma and cosmetics space. With Vera vertical farming technology, we are well set to serve that very large market”, he concludes.