As part of what we have dubbed our “Foogle” project, we are really excited to be building our first vertical farming unit in our factory in Yorkshire. We use *lots* of herbs in our recipes so this is a great way to reduce the food miles in our products.
Dubbed “Foogle”, our entrepreneur programme seeks to showcase the latest in food and farming innovation, while creating future farming solutions that will make it back into HECK’s vegan and meat burgers and bangers.
As part of the launch plans for our project, we will also be building the first vertical farming facility in Yorkshire, initially to grow basil, to grow herbs on the farm that will be used in our Chicken Italia range. We currently import 10,000 tonnes of basil from Spain each year, so we wanted to take this first step to reduce the food miles in our product range.
HECK’s Debbie said of the plans, “We are farmers turned producers but now we are able to look to the future of agriculture and how we drive our business forward. There are huge benefits to vertical farming – no pesticides or herbicides, less water, no transport, less food waste, higher production, better shelf life – the list is endless. Our aim is to be able to produce a wide range of leafy veg and herbs that we can use across the range, delivering tasty flavours from farm, to factory, to plate.”
We have exciting plans ahead and are developing a series of new partnerships that help us find new ways of growing, introducing innovation in the factory, reducing waste and taking further steps with our sustainable packaging plans. Watch this space!