The certification standard was developed by Control Union, in collaboration with the Association for Vertical Farming, who are the standard managers. It comprises a set of sustainability criteria tailored to vertical farming, with consistent data collection and continuous improvement as core values. It ensures that they key environmental benefits of vertical farming – absence of pesticide use, stronger nutrient efficiency and a significant reduction in water use – are being realised.
Certifications are granted based on the outcome of a two-part audit process, starting with a desk-based review of the production facility, followed by an in person visit on site. Once granted, certificates are valid for 4 years, dependant on successfully passing an annual surveillance audit, which is a reduced version of the initial process.