A new vision to increase high tech food production in Wales which also has a positive impact on climate change has been launched by the Welsh Government.
The new Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) prospectus aims to see growth in the number of businesses using technology to provide sustainable systems of growing food where parameters and conditions such as water and light are tightly controlled.
Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths visited CEA established business S&A Produce in Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan to launch the prospectus and see the work they do to produce soft fruit, including strawberries, all year around.
The Minister also had the opportunity to launch the company’s new Aeron Cymreig strawberry brand following significant investment by S&A which has doubled the size of its farm in Cowbridge.
CEA has a positive impact on climate change with systems developed on a circular economy model including recycled heat and nutrients, renewable energy and helping ensure minimal food waste.
This form of food growth compliments traditional agriculture and horticulture methods by producing the crops which cannot be easily grown in Wales and supplying produce all year round.
Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said: “It has been great to visit S&A to see the fantastic produce they are growing here in Wales in such an innovative way and to launch their new strawberry brand.
“Creating a stronger, greener and fairer Wales is at the heart of what we want to achieve.
“We all have concerns about climate change, declining natural resources and population growth – and the impact it has on the food on our plates.
“Controlled Environment Agriculture has the potential to transform the food supply chain while lowering our carbon footprint and the environmental impact of food production.
“Together we have a real opportunity to deliver a greener Wales now and for our future generations.”
S&A Group Managing Director, Peter Judge said: “There is significant opportunities for the efficient development of high value crops with the support of the Welsh Government.
“The investment S&A Produce has made supports this, combined with the launch of our Welsh Brand which will be made available in Coop Stores in the coming weeks.”
The CEA Wales prospectus can be found at: https://businesswales.gov.wales/foodanddrink/how-we-can-help