Iceland is not the ideal place to grow vegetables, is it? The weather can be crazy, there’s not a lot of sunlight, the soil is cold. But what if a new technology makes the country the perfect place to grow high-quality crops in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner all year around? This is the question VAXA founder Andri Björn Gunnarsson asked himself when he was dining out with good friends in Reykjavík in late 2016. The idea was too revolutionary and exciting not to take it further. The seed had been planted and the first steps towards the creation of VAXA were taken.
Vertical farming is a new type of high-tech indoor agriculture where crops are grown using LED lighting so that the use of land, energy and water is optimized. We believe that Iceland is the ideal place for further development of this technology and that, as a result, the country’s dependency on environmentally harmful import will decrease. Almost all energy in Iceland is derived from clean, renewable sources, the water is exceptionally pure and the country’s natural environment and society make it the ideal location to grow a clean, delicious and fully traceable product in close proximity to the markets.
Research and development took two years and the first seeds were planted in late 2018. The quality of the product instantly surpassed our expectations. Today we grow a variety of lettuce types, herbs, micro greens and speciality greens. Our products are used in many of Iceland’s top restaurants and are sold in all the main food stores. At the 2019 Culinary Olympics, the Icelandic chef team won the silver medal using products from VAXA.