The Corporate Group from independent UK law firm Burges Salmon has advised Foresight Group, the listed sustainability-led alternative investment manager, on its investment in Harvest London, a UK-based controlled environment agriculture company, to support the development of the vertical farming industry.
Founded in 2017 by Chris Davies and Matt Chlebek, Harvest London has built two farms so far, grown over 100 different crops using hydroponic vertical farming techniques, and partnered with brands including Pizza Pilgrims and Compass Group. The investment into the company by Foresight is driven by the increasing need for locally grown produce and strong positive feedback from Harvest London’s existing customers.
With concerns growing about the security and sustainability of food systems, new farming methods are needed to reduce the negative environmental impacts of food production, including supply chain emissions, land and water use, and soil degradation. The investment in Harvest London follows investments by Foresight in greenhouses in the UK and a land-based sustainable aquaculture farm in Norway.
This investment will allow Harvest London to expand its current operations into key retail markets, enabling it to supply a range of salads and herbs to customers in London and beyond. The company currently operates a farm in East London, which has been producing crops since 2020.
The Burges Salmon team that advised Foresight on the deal was led by partner Danny Lee and solicitor Nikoletta Zinonos from the firm’s Corporate Group.
Fuad Yusibov, Senior Investment Manager at Foresight Group, says: “Vertical farming is vital for the push towards a more sustainable future for food production and will play a pivotal role in shaping more resilient food systems capable of meeting the country’s food needs. We know that Danny and the Burges Salmon team have particular expertise in this area, which is why we instructed them on the deal and we’re delighted with the expert levels of service that they provided.”
Danny Lee concludes: “Given our focus on sustainable projects and our expertise in the food and drink sector, this deal was a perfect fit for us. As one of the few law firms with a genuine track record in advising on the development, construction, and funding of vertical farms, we were pleased to advise the Foresight team and play our part in helping the maturation of the vertical farming sector in the UK.”