Letter from the Chairwoman of the AVF (2018)

Industry News

A Letter from AVF Chairwoman Christine Zimmermann-Loessl


Dear AVF Members,

The Association for Vertical Farming is evolving from an emerging movement into an industry organization ready for the next steps. To quote Alibaba founder and philanthropist Jack Ma, “The next generation of globalization should be inclusive and create opportunities for young people to get involved. The last 30 years of globalization was controlled by 60,000 big companies. In the next 30 years, we will have 6 or 16 or 60 million companies get involved in globalization.”

At the AVF, we have taken this quote to heart based on experience from the past and with members feedback, we are adjusting the overall AVF strategy by bringing changes to the board and staff to ensure that the Association is ready and able to pick up the priorities that we agreed on at the Annual General Meeting in Munich on the 1st of December 2017.

We will want to engage with our members at the core of our mission and interact more effectively with policy makers, the horticulture industry and our partners. Also important is the further development of our global network of members and acquisition of new members – to meet that goal we are planning an upcoming AVF summit in Hong Kong in September.

The AVF is now developing into a more professional organization. We are changing the way we work and in the course of that process we have also made some changes to AVF staff.  A few well-known names have now moved on in a different direction, such as Henry Gordon Smith, Zjef van Acker and Mark Horler. I would like to thank them for the contributions they have made to the Association in the past years and wish them all the best in their future in the vertical farming industry.

With this, the AVF team is looking forward to helping our members turn 2018 into a successful and prosperous year and encourage all of you to reach out to us with your ideas and suggestions @ members@vertical-farming.net.


New AVF Staff – Our team is eager to work with you and help you succeed.

Anne Flour, European Affairs Manager,

Anne is a highly motivated EU Project Manager with extensive  experience in agriculture and environment. As an independent, she supports organisations to thrive in the European Union context.

Gus van der Feltz, Head of Member Relations
Gus is a self-employed entrepreneur and Vertical Farming expert. Between 2014 and 2017 Gus was responsible for Vertical Farming at Philips and Philips Lightning

Yanni Garica Postigo  Operations Manager,

Yanni is the co-founder of PlantHive. Formerly business controller @ St. Gilles Municipality, International-minded and curious!


New Board of Directors

Christine Zimmermann-Loessl, Chairwoman
Christine has extensive NGO EU/US/Asia experience

Thomas Zöllner, Vice-Chairman
Tom is an entrepreneur and expert for innovation in agri-tech, with a solid base in the Vertical Farming Industry.

Penny McBride, Vice-Chairwoman
Penny is a start-up/strategic advisor in the urban agriculture industry in the US and internationally.


Key objectives for the Association for Vertical Farming in 2018 / 2019:


1. Standardization and Certification (S&C): With our members, AVF will lay out the groundwork for standards and reference data for agri-tech crop production. We will soon announce a proposal for committee composition and the roadmap for partnerships with our members and regional organizations.

2. Education (E): The AVF will facilitate education & training for the agri-tech industry while integrating a new e-learning platform. Additionally, we will strive to publish relevant industry white papers in multiple languages to help distribute knowledge into the global market.

3. Policy Advocacy (PA): Policy development, already started with the successful Summit in Washington DC, will continue to foster advocacy with policymakers, pursue grant opportunities, partnerships and lobby on behalf of the members in the EU and USA. We have established an office in Brussels and registered officially as a lobby organization at the EU.


Finally, a short reminder of membership payment – please remit, membership is due 01. January of each Year. If you have not received your invoice yet, please contact us at info@vertical-farming.net

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