December 2, 2020 Bethany Thurston

Our Farms Aren’t Just For Food

by Bethany Thurston

Controlled Environment Farms (CEF) were first designed for the purpose of growing edible crops in areas with infertile soil or poor growing conditions. These farms can be built to accommodate the perfect conditions all year round, replicating long days with ample water and cool temperatures regardless of the climate outside. Not only can we manipulate CEFs to mimic any climate in the world, but we can also use data to recreate the best years of growth we have seen throughout history – and avoid the worst. It’s a bit like magic. Importantly, CEFs also enable us to control all the variables at play be it CO2, pH, water temperature, airflow, humidity, nutrient, light intensity & spectrum.

Historically CEFs started by growing simple crop varieties – leafy greens such as lettuces, basils or kales. Over time, with advancements in technology, we have been able to get more creative and increase the variety of crops by trialling all sorts of natural goods and ingredients. It is now possible to try to grow exotic varieties from around the world, including coffee, cocoa and soy beans. Here at ZCF we are uncovering new capabilities of CEF every single day, and, for the first time, our farms don’t just have to grow food. Now, we are delving into new industries and possibilities. We have already supplied a range of products to a high-end drinks company for a limited edition premium gin. This got us thinking; what else can we use our crops in?

It is now possible to try to grow exotic varieties from around the world, including coffee, cocoa and soy beans.

This year we trialled products for a huge cosmetics brand, which will be used in a global hair care line launching in 2021. And this is just the beginning. Our crops can be used in all sorts of products across the health and beauty industry, from shampoos and conditioners to moisturisers and lotions. The possibilities for sustainable cosmetics are endless.

Not only do these products smell divine, but they are also carbon neutral, sustainable and locally-sourced. No wonder these brands want to partner with us.

Beyond cosmetics, we also want to put the ‘health’ back into the ‘health & beauty’ industry. Plants are widely used across the pharmaceutical industry as ingredients in a range of medicines and drugs. With the right expertise and specific growing conditions, it is possible to grow almost any natural product in CEFs.

We are always open to partnering with other like-minded brands who want to future proof their supply chains. So why not get in touch?

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