Slate Asset Management Announces £50 Million Investment in UK-Based Vertical Farming Business, Eider VF Limited
Slate has announced that it has completed a £50 million investment in Eider VF Limited (“EVF”), a UK-based vertical farming business, through its Cities and Communities Impact Infrastructure Strategy.
Founded in 2016, EVF is a vertical farming business based in Birmingham, England that develops farms growing leafy produce to be sold to the UK mass market. EVF’s products are grown in standard warehouses that are augmented to house vertical farms, using standard industrial equipment to create environments in which the plants thrive. EVF has secured long-term partnership agreements with leading manufacturers and suppliers of leafy produce to the UK retail and food service markets.
Slate’s investment will be used to fund the construction of EVF’s first five facilities by 2024, which will be built adjacent to existing packing facilities, thereby significantly reducing transport costs. The facilities will be equipped to sustainably grow leafy produce 24/7, 365 days a year, significantly reducing wastewater, nutrient usage, and biohazard risk.
“Vertical farming aligns seamlessly with the focus of our Cities and Communities Impact Infrastructure Strategy and contributes to many of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, promoting more resource-efficient food production, reducing carbon emissions in the journey from farm to fork, and providing an alternative way of growing food that protects the environment and surrounding ecosystem,” said Christian Schmid, Managing Director and Global Head of Infrastructure at Slate. “We’re very pleased to be launching into this sector with our investment in EVF, which is pioneering the commercialization and delivery of vertically farmed produce to the “mass” market in a sustainable and cost-efficient way.”
Mike Davies of EVF said: “Slate was the optimal partner for us in this phase of growth, given there are significant real estate and ESG components involved in the buildout and operations of our facilities. We look forward to working closely with Christian and leveraging the global institutional expertise of the broader Slate team to deploy our first facilities and ensure we are managing them in the most efficient and sustainable ways.”
Slate is an active investor in sustainable assets and technologies through its Cities and Communities Impact Infrastructure Strategy. The Strategy is focused on investments that advance the global energy transition and enable cities and communities to reach their carbon emission reduction goals, including technologies and assets that contribute to a more sustainable food manufacturing and supply chain.
Slate recently hired Jan Greenshaw, an Investment Associate, to support the continued growth of Slate’s Cities & Communities Impact Infrastructure Strategy. Greenshaw joined Slate in May 2022 from Queensland Investment Corporation, where he worked on the Global Infrastructure team.
Source: Slate Asset Management