Sarah Hughes: Report published

2017 Scholar, Sarah Hughes’ report is now available on the Nuffield International website. Below is the executive summary of her report, titled:‘Vertical Farming: does the economic model work?’

Report Title       

Vertical Farming: does the economic model work?


Sarah Hughes


AHDB Horticulture

Countries visited

Brazil, Japan, USA, Netherlands, Dubai, Germany and UK

Objectives of the study tour: 

  • To establish whether new methods in indoor farming provide an economical alternative for growers
  • To look at real examples following different business models
  • To find any best practice that can be shared with the UK horticulture industry


  • There are business models where Vertical Farming/Controlled Environment Agriculture would work well
  • The business model needs to be robust as the technology and running costs are expensive
  • The technology is available to grow a wide range of crops in controlled conditions
  • Growing in a controlled environment requires high levels of understanding and technical skill
  • Securing investment for some schemes can be hard
  • A hybrid solution could be the best system for current glasshouse growers

See Sarah’s report at: