YesHealth Group is partnering with Danish company, Nordic Harvest, to bring Europe’s largest and most efficient indoor vertical farm to Denmark. Thisvertical farm will cover more than 7,500 sq., featuring YesHealth Group’s proprietary technologies, including: robotics, hydroponics, arrays of more than 20,000 LEDs, and smart software for processing over 5000 individual data points, all integrated with Nordic Harvest’s design of process flow and packaging. YesHealth Group is a global leader in hydroponic farming and currently operates the largest vertical farming operation in Asia. WI Harper led its Series C in August 2018.
If you buy lettuce in the winter in Denmark, it will probably be imported from Spain or Italy—or even Kenya. But a new vertical indoor farm on the outskirts of Copenhagen will soon begin producing 1,000 metric tons of greens a year locally. The Danish company running the farm, in partnership with a Taiwanese tech provider, says that similar farms covering an area the size of 20 soccer fields could fully supply the country’s entire demand for greens.
The farm is the work of YesHealth Group, a Taiwanese company that has spent the last decade developing vertical farming technology. The company developed the largest vertical farm in Taiwan, which is profitable (unlike several North American vertical farm startups), and the largest vertical farm in China (the Chinese farm supplies food to employees rather than selling it). In Denmark, it’s partnering with Nordic Harvest, a startup that aims to make food production more sustainable through technology.
Like most other indoor farms, the facility uses hydroponics, technology that grows food with little water, and doesn’t require the use of pesticides. (It also avoids the risk of disease outbreaks like salmonella that can happen on outdoor farms.) The company makes its own LED lights, which have become far more efficient over the last decade; electricity is one of the largest costs of this type of agriculture.
The new farm, covering more than 75,000 square feet, will run fully on wind power, slashing the carbon footprint of production. In theory, because the greens will be much fresher when they reach grocery stores and consumers, the system can also help reduce food waste. The majority of the farm, with 14 shelves of greens stacked up toward the ceiling, is automated, so labor costs are low.
When the greens are sold in Danish supermarkets beginning in January, they’ll be priced similarly to organic greens, though Stella Tsai, the general manager of YesHealth Group, says that it will soon be competitive with conventional produce. “In this kind of growing method, you can control every cost,” she says. “You won’t be influenced by the climate, so you can [grow on] a new schedule.” YesHealth Group plans to expand to other locations in Europe, and will also move into Singapore, the Philippines, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa next year.
| About YesHealth Group
YesHealth Group is a mission-driven company that aims to provide fresh, nutritious, and safe leafy vegetables to the world through environment-friendly agricultural practices built for the 21st century. Our vertical farms apply zero pesticides and yield several hundred times more vegetables per unit area than traditional field farms. Our vertical farms can be built anywhere and operate all year-around, consequently disrupting the normal supply chain in agriculture. YesHealth Group is one of the largest vertical farming companies in the world. Located in Taiwan and China, we operate the two largest and most energy efficient vertical farms in Asia. Over the past eight years, we have developed a number of proprietary and patented technologies now fully integrated into our company. We currently collaborate with local partners to build more vertical farms around the world.
| About WI Harper Group
WI Harper is a pioneer and leading cross-border venture capital firm investing in early and expansion stage companies globally. With offices in San Francisco, Beijing, and Taipei, the firm actively oversees more than $1 billion in assets under management. Since inception nearly three decades ago, WI Harper has invested in over 400 startups and has successfully experienced more than 100 IPO and M&A exits.
We look for innovative companies and visionary founders in healthcare, technology and sustainability fields where there are high synergies and meaningful value-added cross selling opportunities. While our healthcare team is presently honing on bioinformatics and digital biology, our technology team is focused blockchain, big data, analytics, artificial intelligence, AR/VR, IoT, robotics, drones, autonomous driving, as well as digital media and green energy projects.