A brand new certification has launched today for vertical farming – Sustainable Indoor Farming.
Vertical Farming is a rapidly growing, cutting edge, technology-driven food production system in a controlled environment, where space, water, and nutrient efficiency is maximised through growing plants in vertically stacked soil-less substrates.
Other areas of environmentally conscious agriculture such as organic, free range and the increasingly popular regenerative approach are provided with legitimacy and robust scrutiny through certifications schemes. And so Control Union are proud to announce the launch of the new Sustainable Indoor Farming certification, filling a gap to provide certification services to the vertical farming sector. The scheme comprises a set of sustainability criteria tailored to vertical farming, with consistent data collection and continuous improvement as core values. It ensures that they key environmental benefits of vertical farming – absence of pesticide use, stronger nutrient efficiency and a significant reduction in water use – are being realised.
The Sustainable Indoor Farming standard has been developed by Control Union UK, a leading global certification body with extensive experience in developing certification standards, in collaboration with the Association for Vertical Farming, a leading global industry group for vertical farming. The standard was developed over the course of several rounds of consultation where industry, technology providers, and academic research were represented, and could bring forward their views. The Association for Vertical Farming will own the standard ongoing, with Control Union acting as the sole certification body.
From today both start-ups and established companies engaged in vertical farming are invited to apply for Sustainable Indoor Farming certification, via the ‘enquire here’ button on the top left of this page.
Certifications are granted based on the outcome of a two-part audit process, starting with a desk-based review of the production facility, followed by an in person visit on site. Applicants should expect the process to take around six months from initial enquiry through to certification. Once granted, certificates are valid for 4 years, dependant on successfully passing an annual surveillance audit, which is a reduced version of the initial process. Certified companies will benefit from an independent, robust label denoting that they are ensuring sustainable practices are in place, along with a continuous improvement plan. This should lead to better market access, and to consumers understanding the environmental benefits of vertically farmed produce.