How GROWFOAM® drives and enables change in the global food system.

The future of food, part II

A recently published article by Deloitte regarding the future of food, named ‘The global food system transformation – The time to change is now’ addresses 4 cases for change; sustainability, health, consumer demand and regulatory pressure and acknowledges the GROWFOAM® vision to grow greener, safer and faster.

You can read the article at Deloitte global website by clicking here.

The future of food

According to a recent study carried out by Deloitte – one of the world’s leading consultancy firms – global food supply needs to expand by a staggering 50% by 2050. Extrapolating that 50% from the existing food system is not a realistic option, as evidenced by the EAT-Lancet Commission report on healthy diets from sustainable food systems (the full report can be downloaded here)

This means we need to fundamentally rethink and reshape our future when it comes toproducing food. In its study, Deloitte pointed out 4 reasons for this rethink:

1. Sustainability
2. Health
3. Consumer demand
4. Regulatory pressure

Alongside these motivations, responsible production and waste management are keysuccess factors for the future of food production.

In our recently launched and revamped company vision, the GROWFOAM® team makes statements on all 6 of these key reasons for change in food production. We discussed the sustainability theme a couple of weeks ago (see, and this time we’ll dive deeper into the next 2 themes: Health & Consumer demand.


2. Health & Consumer Demand
From Deloitte’s report:

“The EAT-Lancet report reveals that our food system is a key driver behind health problems. Unhealthy diets pose a greater risk to morbidity and mortality than unsafe sex and alcohol, drug, and tobacco use combined. The system is also highly unequal. Globally more than 820 million people remain undernourished, while it is projected that almost half the world’s population will be overweight or obese by 2030. We are witnessing a steep increase in diet-related diseases such as type-2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. This results not only in reduced quality of life for those affected, but also puts a large burden on economies due to rising healthcare costs and lost productivity.

Next to that, consumers are increasingly demanding sustainably sourced and healthy products. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated and increased the urgency of taking care of your health and having a strong immune system has never been more critical. Consumers also now have a deeper understanding about the relationship between what we eat, how it has been produced, and our health and our environment—and are demanding that companies live up to their values. This can translate directly into profit opportunities: research shows that products which are marketed as sustainable, grow 5.6 times faster than those that are not.”  


In GROWFOAM®’s vision of the future, agricultural activity as we know it will disappear almost completely over the coming decade(s). It’ll come as no surprise that we predict Controlled Environment Agriculture (e.g. hydroponics, aeroponics, vertical farming) will take over. 

Due to its ‘controlled’ nature, CEA is particularly suitable to meet (consumer) demands on topics such as healthy food, traceable production and sustainability. But it can also help to tackle inequality in global food production. GROWFOAM® enables growers to live up to their values and meet current and future market demands. 


GROWFOAM® substrates (both the plugs and soils) are sterile at start. Tests with GROWFOAM® substrates have demonstrated a 50,000x lower risk of pathogen infections versus organic (peat and coir) substrates. GROWFOAM® is free of E. Coli & Listeria bacteria. 

This results in a growing environment that is completely free of pesticides. Growers can include a ‘no need to wash’ claim on their produce, while consumers can be certain their vegetables and herbs are safe to eat. 



By using GROWFOAM® in their growing systems, growers can save up to 20% on their operational expenses (OPEX) by reducing costs and improving yields and revenue. This all leads to higher profits 
or enables (retail) prices to drop, making fresh and healthy produce available for a broader audience over time.

GROWFOAM® is produced using a fully scalable and location-independent production process. This means that GROWFOAM® can be produced anywhere in the world - even next to or in the farm itself. As a result, growers are able to grow crops in places that need fresh and healthy produce the most.



Organic substrates vary in nutrition, bacteria and other pathogens from batch to batch, due to their organic nature. This also implies major risks in food quality and food safety. It is almost impossible to trace pathogens and risks back to a specific batch of substrate.

By using GROWFOAM®, these risks can be eliminated by 100%. 

Each pallet, shipment and batch of GROWFOAM® is documented, tested and fully traceable all the way back to our raw production materials.  



GROWFOAM® substrates contribute to a sustainable growing environment by being fully biodegradable and produced with a carbon neutral/compensated footprint.

The GROWFOAM® platform technology is completely circular. Primarily, production waste and end-of-life products are re-used to produce new foam. Alternatively, end-of-life foam that can’t be re-used is biodegraded and completely converted into water and CO2 upon degradation. GROWFOAM® contains no microplastics or PFAS.

GROWFOAM® is TUV Industrial Composing Certified (DIN EN 13432 standard), with Home Composting and Soil Degradation certifications pending. 


All of this comes together to make GROWFOAM® the most sustainable and safe substrate available on the market to date - and for the foreseeable future.

Simply by using our GROWFOAM® substrates in their production facilities, growers around the world can grow greener, safer and faster.


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Lettuce in a vertical farm