Slate Asset Management has invested £50m in UK-based vertical farming business Eider VF (EVF).

The asset manager said the investment was made on behalf of the Cities and Communities Impact Infrastructure Strategy launched in February this year.

Founded in 2016, EVF develops farms growing leafy produce to be sold to the UK mass market. EVF’s products are grown in standard warehouses that are augmented to house vertical farms.

Slate’s investment will be used to fund the construction of EVF’s first five facilities by 2024.

Christian Schmid, managing director and global head of infrastructure at Slate, said vertical farming aligns  with the focus of Slate’s Cities and Communities Impact Infrastructure Strategy and contributes to many of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, ”promoting more resource-efficient food production, reducing carbon emissions in the journey from farm to fork, and providing an alternative way of growing food that protects the environment and surrounding ecosystem”.

“We’re very pleased to be launching into this sector with our investment in EVF, which is pioneering the commercialisation and delivery of vertically farmed produce to the “mass” market in a sustainable and cost-efficient way,” Schmid said.

Mike Davies of Eider VF, said: “Slate was the optimal partner for us in this phase of growth, given there are significant real estate and ESG components involved in the buildout and operations of our facilities.

“We look forward to working closely with Christian and leveraging the global institutional expertise of the broader Slate team to deploy our first facilities and ensure we are managing them in the most efficient and sustainable ways.”

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