An ethical approach to growing lettuces at Paignton Zoo has been chosen to illustrate a global business initiative.
The VertiCrop, an innovation which uses a specialist growing method to grow food naturally in urban environments, has been chosen to illustrate one of the principles of the Earth Charter – a declaration of ethical business principles.
The system is the first of its kind to go on public display anywhere in the world. It has been chosen to illustrate charter principle of promoting the recovery of endangered species and ecosystems. Every year the zoo spends an estimated £20,000 on lettuces to feed the animals. Philip Knowling, a Paignton Zoo spokesman, said: “This is an ethical business approach to growing lettuces. The VertiCrop is operated by a hi-tech conveyor system. Imagine a very tame lettuce roller-coaster, running round and round.”
After being developed by a company called Valcent at their UK base in Cornwall, the VertiCrop system was set up in the zoo’s greenhouses in 2009.