Vertical Farming: Experience the Nutrition Megatrend Today

If Maximilian Loessl, the CEO of Agrilution, has his way, the future of nutrition will take place in its own four walls and will be integrated into every kitchen like a matter of course. Very nutritious herbs, salads and microgreens grow inside a small greenhouse. Always in the best conditions of light, water and weather. At the Miele subsidiary Agrilution, this future is called the Plantcube. A solution that, for Maximilian Loessl, symbolizes nothing less than the next agricultural revolution. The Plantcube is controlled with the help of an app. Lets users know when it’s time to refill water or harvest. The Plantcube does most of the rest automatically.

What constitutes vertical farming?

To understand why vertical farming has been a major trend for some time, just take a look at classic farming. Because these days it is increasingly concentrated in a few large companies. One of the consequences is the long distances to consumers. This is accompanied by emissions that arise during the transport, storage and refrigeration of food. Fresh produce loses important nutrients on longer transportation routes before it is consumed. Intensive agriculture reduces the total available arable land by about 12 million hectares each year. This corresponds to the production of approximately 20 million tons of grain.1 At the same time, the soil loses important nutrients due to intensive use. “Vertical farming offers solutions to the most pressing problems we encounter in the modern farming industry,” explains Maximilian Loessl. “Those who grow at least part of their food themselves help to counteract these developments and save on transport routes and packaging waste. And you can enjoy greenery that contains up to 30 times more nutrients than the supermarket competition.” This is achieved, among other things, by smart lighting, sensor-based climate control that allows plants to grow up to three times faster, and irrigation that saves up to 98 percent water compared to conventional farming.

Agriculture goes one step further

But just offering a stylish device that can be used to grow delicious herbs and microgreens? That wouldn’t be enough for Loessl and his team at Agrilution. The 33-year-old is working hard to make his Plantcube and the entire company as sustainable as possible. The Plantcube is designed according to the cycle principle. None of the components are glued or foamed. At the end of its useful life, everything can be disassembled into its individual parts and recycled. In addition, Agrilution, like Miele, is CO2 neutral on balance: the company records all emissions and tries to reduce them as best as possible. The company offsets unavoidable emissions and offsets them through projects. Agrilution goes one step further with Scope 3 emissions: Since most emissions occur in the use phase, the company offers its customers the option to purchase green electricity from a partner company at a partner fee with discount.

passion for the cause

Anyone who talks to Maximilian Loessl quickly realizes that vertical farming is more than just a business idea. And there are good reasons for it. The son of a development worker, he grew up in China. There he experienced the contrast between technical comfort on the one hand and chronic malnutrition on the other. A formative experience that led him many years later to study vertical farming in the Netherlands. “My vision is to create a perfect ecosystem that everyone can use to grow their own nutrient-rich plants,” says Loessl. A vision that he shares with vertical farming expert Philipp Wagner. With him he founded Agrilution in 2013. In just a few years, the company grew to more than 60 employees and is now a 100% subsidiary of Miele.

Miele and Agrilution: the perfect interaction

Stefan Breit, Technical Director at Miele, has been involved in the collaboration with Agrilution from the very beginning. “I am very pleased that Agrilution has been part of the Miele Group since 2019. With its strong focus on sustainability and new technologies, the company is a perfect fit for us and supports us on our course for further growth,” says Breit. “At the same time, I think that both parties can still learn a lot from each other through mutual exchange in the field of sustainability. Agrilution is already well on its way when it comes to emissions in the use phase and that too It is an important issue at Miele.”

1 https://www.un.org/en/events/desertification_decade/value.shtml

image sources

  • Maximilian Loessl: Agriculture

Leave your vote

Leave a Comment

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.