Innovation Trends



Our business sector has always relied on innovation, hence we have already discussed here the latest trends in logistics, dining experiences and sustainable alternatives to traditional foods. Now the trending topic is vertical farming, which entails growing plants on layered vertical structures, often indoors. 

According to a recent analysis, the global Vertical Farming Market was valued at USD 3.1 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 11.2 billion by 2028, with an extraordinary CAGR of 25.2% during the forecast period. As if to say, the future looks bright…and tall.

By stacking plants vertically on shelves or tall pillars, vertical farming allows ten times the yield for a given land area. Plants are grown indoors, with LED lights replacing sun rays, closed-loop water recycling and no pesticides. It is like upgrading the controlled environment of a modern commercial greenhouse for some vegetables: salad and tomatoes are the most suitable, due to their rapid growth and high yields in relation to the space. Horticultural crops, leafy vegetables but also aromatic plants (basil, for example) can be ideal, as well as mushrooms and sprouts. 

The most commonly used cultivation techniques are hydroponics and aquaponics. The first is a soilless technique in which plant roots grow in direct contact with water. Aquaponics combines aquaculture (recirculation) with hydroponic cultivation, in order to create the conditions for a symbiotic environment that allows the simultaneous production of plants and fish.

Vertical farms can be located in shipping containers, tunnels and parking lots and they are typically close to large urban centers, with a high population density, thus reducing food miles. A vertical farm can fit, on average, the equivalent of nine hectares of farmland in a building the size of a supermarket and use 95% less water than traditional ones. Crops can be harvested all year round, thanks to the manipulation of the day length via LED lights. A new way of farming that has the potential to help feed a growing global population.

R&D is the word in this highly competitive industry that is growing so fast: energy consumption needs to be reduced and crops with a lower profit margin still need to find their space on the “shelves”.  Yet advancements in LED technology and the minimal requirement of resources like land, water and manpower to conduct farming are supporting a development that is meant to be groundbreaking.

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About Alifood

About Alifood

We strongly believe that everything we plan and do should create value, for both our clients and suppliers. We do not see ourselves as mere food traders.

The sale of the products we select is just the last step of a complex, structured process that is based on strong business relationships and, in many cases, real partnerships. Our job is made of several functions: sourcing the right product, selecting a reliable producer, managing the entire logistics chain, providing all the necessary documentation and certifications and following up all the after-sale requirements besides consulting and tutoring on how to best use each single product. We do all this because we strongly believe that everything we plan and do should create value, for both our clients and suppliers. Our familiarity with the Italian food an agricultural industry, developed over the last twenty years, gives us the ability to efficiently deal with all the diverse needs pertaining to different markets.

Thanks to our experienced, professional and multilingual global working team, matching international demand and local supply is what we do best.

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