General newsFriday, April 3, 2020

An update from IGS CEO, David Farquhar – COVID-19

As we continue to monitor the developments of COVID-19, our primary concern remains the health, safety and security of our team. As such, we made the decision on 16th March to move to home-working for the foreseeable future, for all those members of the team for whom that is an option.

In order to maintain the crops and the potential to provide help to local communities should we be asked, we continue to maintain the vertical farm and Intelligent Grid demonstrator facilities based at the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie, but are doing so through a skeleton staff, working alone or in shifts of two, and with a number of increased hygiene provisions now in place. We will continue to monitor the situation and will ensure that we are mitigating any risk to those working there. 

We are also exceptionally grateful to our investors, who have been a huge source of support and encouragement as we face this challenging time.

Across the globe, we are facing an utterly unprecedented event. COVID-19 has left no country or sector untouched and the full extent of its impact on our global economy is only really beginning to emerge. 

Now, more than ever, we need to come together to work collaboratively to look to a future that preserves the world’s supply chains and sustainable food security. This is a long-term requirement that demands attention and focus as soon as is feasible.

There are many agricultural innovations that can support this, and technology will be critical in helping us to move forward effectively. Vertical farming offers a controlled indoor environment, independent of weather and location to provide surety of food supply across a range of crop types right next to the point of consumption. Our supplementary lighting Intelligent Grid system for glasshouses and polytunnels enables farmers to extend and remotely monitor the growing day to 18 hours year-round, so speeding up the local production of crops.

This is no doubt one of the greatest challenges our generation will face, and it is in our hands to ensure we come out at the other end stronger and more determined than ever. COVID-19 has no doubt changed the world forever, but there are learnings we can take from this unparalleled event to ensure we create a world in which future generations can thrive, secure in the knowledge that a sustainable food supply chain is future-proof and fit for purpose. 

Wishing you and yours all the very best at this challenging time. Stay safe, stay at home.

David Farquhar


Written by

Georgia Lea

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