Europe’s First Commercial Rooftop Farm – Mark Durno (Urban Farmers) – AVF Summit 2016


Mark Durno – Managing Director at UrbanFarmers Benelux

Bio: A farmer from birth, Mark left a promising career in law to help revolutionize local food production and develop new agricultural concepts for the future. Whilst working on an organic farm in Switzerland in 2011, he met a scientist and a businessman who were thinking of growing fish and vegetables on rooftops; he soon found himself as part of the start-up team in UrbanFarmers AG. After completing and operating Europe’s first rooftop Aquaponic Greenhouse in Basel (CH), Mark went on to lead the “UF De Schilde” project, building Europe’s largest commercial rooftop greenhouse and aquaponic system (The Hague, NL).
Mark was raised on a 260ha commercial farm in NE Scotland with both arable and beef production, and worked on several organic farms across Europe to hone his practical understanding of farming processes and food trends in different countries. Before joining UrbanFarmers, Mark specialized as a lawyer in family and criminal law in Scotland.
He holds an LLB Law (Honours) degree from the University of Glasgow, PG Dip. LP from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, is a qualified Scottish solicitor and a candidate for the Executive MBA class of 2016 at Rotterdam School of Management. Mark lives in Den Haag with his wife and dog.

Presentation title: Europe’s First Commercial Rooftop Farm

Presentation abstract:
UrbanFarmers use aquaponic technology for sustainable production of fish and vegetables in cities. The concept to utilise empty space in urban settings for vertical farming is becoming more and more popular, yet there are few examples of commercial scale farms in Europe. Mark Durno will talk about how Urban Farmers has made Europe’s first large scale aquaponic farm possible on a rooftop in The Hague. Hence, proving that the production of fish and plants can be combined to build a sustainable vertical farm with a sustainable business model.

The AVF Summit 2016 brought together multiple stakeholders in order to:

» Discuss circular economies and inform on their application

» Present on state-of-the-art technical developments within vertical farming such as growing techniques, LED lighting, building integrated agriculture, mushroom production and insect-farming and more…

» Develop a perspective on policy, sustainable finance and business models

» Encourage industry standards and collaboration

» Network

The AVF Summit 2016 is brought to you by the Association for Vertical Farming in partnership with GreenTech and is sponsored by Fluence Bioengineering, Valoya and Blue Planet Consulting.

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Filmed on June 13th 2016 in Amsterdam at AVF Summit 2016 by Ideal Entertainment


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