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Inside a vertical farmImage copyrightGetty Images

Ocado has invested £17m in developing so-called “vertical” farms.

The firm, which delivers food bought online from Waitrose, is planning to grow herbs and leafy greens next to its distribution centres.

It has made two investments in indoor farming. One is a joint venture with 80 Acres, a US vertical farm business, and Priva, a Dutch firm that provides climate control technology.

It has also bought a stake in Jones Food in Scunthorpe.

Ocado’s chief executive Tim Steiner said he wanted vegetables grown on the farms to be delivered to kitchens within an hour of being picked.