Scotland business

US entrepreneur praises Scots business

Sonia Lo Image copyright Mim Adkins
Image caption Sonia Lo said Scotland could grow even further as an entrepreneurial nation

The boss of the world's biggest vertical farming company says Scotland is punching above its weight when it comes to new business ideas.

US entrepreneur Sonia Lo, of Crop One Holdings, said it had successfully combined expertise in science, engineering and invention.

Vertical farming, carried out under controlled conditions, aims to cut food waste.

Scotland opened its first vertical farm last summer.

Speaking at a gathering of international business leaders in Gleneagles, Perthshire, organised by the Entrepreneurial Scotland organisation, Ms Lo said Scotland had a great tradition of engineering expertise and invention.

She added: "It also has a very robust capability in asset management. Those two things allow it to punch above its weight.

'Poor distribution'

"As an entrepreneur in Scotland, having access to great scientific capability as well as perhaps the government in a public private partnership, shoring up the venture capital capability, would really allow it to flourish."

Ms Lo also told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that vertical farming could revolutionise the way food was made and distributed.

Image caption Scotland opened its first vertical farm last year

"Today there is a theory that we have peak food - that we grow enough food to feed the people on the planet, but the distribution is so poor that we end up with food that ends up rotting.

"In places like Northern Europe and the US, 40% of the food that is produced gets thrown away."

Ms Lo added: "If you change the infrastructure of agriculture in such a way that you're actually growing at the point of consumption, then you are rapidly changing the way that food is transported.

As a result of that you throw away much less."