To be or not to be? Vertical Farm Standards or Best Practices?

Business Industry News

Robert Colangelo, Founding Farmer, Green Sense Farms Holdings, Inc.

There is a lot of talk these days about standardizing the design of indoor vertical farms.  One of the beauties of the vertical farming industry is the lack of regulation that has allowed innovation to flourish.  Green Sense Farms has been an early adopter building our first vertical farm in 2012. Since that time, we have seen the indoor vertical farm supply chain proliferate with some amazing innovation.

When we built our first indoor farm, we had to make many farm components on our own such as, grow tubs, nutrient fill and drain valves, LED light hangers, air circulation systems, data collection software …   Now there is a rapidly developing network of suppliers that make excellent components that can be integrated into a custom farm system to meet the needs of each crop.

I’m a big believer in free market systems. Standardization is a way to control the market and promote mediocrity. Once a standard is created most organizations will do the minimum amount of work to meet the standard, stifling innovation.

What the industry needs now is collaboration. I propose that we create “Best Practices” for indoor vertical farm design and operation. A Best Practice can be a living document that evolves with technology as the CEA industry matures.

Let me know your thought, please send to

1. Advocate for developing indoor vertical farm standards 

2. Advocate for developing best practices

3. Advocate for status quo (do nothing)

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