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Bayer and Temasek start vertical farming company

Initial efforts will focus on innovating vegetable varieties that deliver optimised quality and sensory experience.

Leaps by Bayer, the impact investment arm of Bayer AG and Temasek, a global investment company headquartered in Singapore, announced the joint investment and formation of a new company, Unfold. The new venture is to unlock the genetic potential of vertical farming. By utilising the seed genetics (germplasm) from vegetable crops, Unfold will focus on developing new seed varieties coupled with agronomic advice tailored for the indoor environment of vertical farms.

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Unfold, the new vertical farming venture from Bayer and Temasek will focus on innovation in vegetable varieties with the goal of lifting the vertical farming space to the next level of quality, efficiency and sustainability. - Photo: Bayer
Unfold, the new vertical farming venture from Bayer and Temasek will focus on innovation in vegetable varieties with the goal of lifting the vertical farming space to the next level of quality, efficiency and sustainability. - Photo: Bayer

Sustainable solutions for agriculture

“Innovation that offers sustainable solutions for agriculture is one of the 10 areas of engagement and investment that Leaps by Bayer is focused on,” said Jürgen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer, which was built to drive fundamental breakthroughs in the fields of health and agriculture through new technologies.

“The investment in Unfold is a great example of a transformative, creative approach to developing agricultural products that meets the needs of consumers, farmers and the planet by increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables, supporting sustainably grown, hyperlocal production and addressing food security challenges faced by growing urban populations.”

Led by CEO John Purcell, Unfold will be a U.S. entity headquartered in the Davis, California area with commercial and research and development operations in both California and Singapore.

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Unfold-CEO John Purcell: “What sets Unfold apart is its unparalleled investment in germplasm and crop growth models best suited for vertical farming environments, an area currently largely underserved." - Photo: Bayer
Unfold-CEO John Purcell: “What sets Unfold apart is its unparalleled investment in germplasm and crop growth models best suited for vertical farming environments, an area currently largely underserved." - Photo: Bayer

Germplasm and crop growth models

“What sets Unfold apart is its unparalleled investment in germplasm and crop growth models best suited for vertical farming environments, an area currently largely underserved,” said Purcell. “As a company fully focused on the vertical farming industry, Unfold will combine leading seed genetics with the best agtech experts in order to dramatically advance productivity, flavor and other consumer preferences. We look forward to serving the market through partnerships with vertical farming operators, technology providers and others across the produce supply chain.”

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