City firms tackling global food crisis

Two Edinburgh firms have joined forces in a bid to help tackle the world food crisis.

Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS), the city-based vertical farming business, has partnered with the capital’s ethical marketing specialists Zebra Growth as it looks to sell more of its systems to customers across the globe.

Launched in 2013, the agritech innovator designs and builds award-winning vertical farms for farmers and growers in food, pharmaceutical and fragrance markets around the world.

Vertical farms by IGS give growers complete control over every element of the growing environment and the systems save around 95% of water usage compared to traditional farming.

The company is revolutionizing the indoor growing market and the past 12 months in particular have been hectic, with soaring sales and the conclusion of a Series B funding round in November raising £42.2million.

As it continues its expansion, IGS sees the collaboration with Zebra Growth as key to its ongoing progress.

With its lean and ethical approach, Zebra Growth provides expert branding and growth marketing solutions to brands that are impact-focused and enjoy a global reach with clients in the USA, Dubai and Germany as well as the UK.

As well as a worldwide client base, the company benefits from a global and multilingual team and partner network.

Welcoming the partnership, IGS chief marketing officer Andy Penfold said: “We are a very fast-growing business striving to do great things in the world. Growth fit with how we want to do business and how we want to interact with people and build relationships.

“The team at Zebra Growth will work with us to build a comprehensive account based marketing strategy. Drawing on their experience in the market, Zebra Growth will then help execute that strategy in Europe, while providing support to allow it to be executed elsewhere in the world.”

Founded by Lisbon-based Moh Al-Haifi in 2020, Zebra Growth has since built on its European origins and established a Scottish HQ in Edinburgh in January. Staff numbers continue to rise, with team members also located in East Lothian, Northern Ireland, England, Dubai and Amsterdam.

Managing director Lee Fitzpatrick said: “IGS is looking to help solve a global food crisis in the most sustainable and renewable way and we are delighted they have chosen Zebra Growth to help them achieve that goal.

“We fully buy-in to what IGS are doing and share the same values ​​and mission. We exclusively work with impact driven organizations that prioritize doing good above all else. We are exploring what ethical marketing is and how it can help growing impact businesses expand more effectively within a well-defined ethical framework and are delighted to be working with IGS at such an important time.”

Mr Al-Haifi added: “We’re facing a huge food crisis around the world and we are honored to be partnering with IGS to help them scale up as effectively as possible so they can make the biggest impact when it comes to food systems change .

“The effect of food on climate change is a big issue at the moment which is going to become a catastrophic problem and we are very proud to be playing our part in helping IGS tackle that situation. Our purpose is to bridge the gap between social impact and the next generation of conscious leaders like IGS, who are focused on the planet and its people.”

IGS, which has additional offices in Glasgow, Chicago and Singapore, launched its Crop Research Center in Dundee in August 2018 and has since opened an Engineering Innovation Center in Inverkeithing, Fife.

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