Spread Co., Ltd. has reached the operating rate of 99% at Techno Farm Keihanna, a large-scale automated vertical farm. This percentage is based on the number of harvested heads compared to the maximum capacity of the farm. Stable production at a large-scale automated vertical farm, with a production capacity of 30,000 heads of lettuce per day, and running at full strength, is an achievement yet to be demonstrated at any other facility worldwide. This will further support Spread’s expansion, as it strives to establish a model for sustainable agriculture.
The challenge of large-scale vertical farming
Stable production at a large-scale is considered one of the toughest challenges in vertical farming. Spread’s Kameoka Plant claims to achieve profitability and an operating rate of 97% within 6 years. Techno Farm Keihanna started operating in November 2018. It has now achieved a stable operating rate of 99% and has delivered a monthly average product weight of over 3 tons since October 2020.
Stable production and environmentally sustainable
Spread’s Technologies are implemented at the Techno Farm Keihanna, which is a high-level synergy of automated cultivation and human operations. Accordingly, Spread succeeded in automating most of the labor-intensive processes, to make the whole process inside the farm more efficient and cost-saving. Next to that, they make use of precise environmental control technology for large spaces Spread’s technology ensures there is little variation in temperature and humidity, even at a large scale. Analysis of the actual cultivation environment allows for stable production and consistent high quality.
Furthermore, the farm has a Techno Farm Cloud implemented. Meaning, a unified IoT-based management system for all farm operations. The visualization of cultivation data has brought efficiency improvements to farm management. Through analysis of the cultivation and post-harvest data, Spread maximizes cultivation efficiency and achieves truly smart agriculture.
The Techno Farm Keihanna
The environmentally sustainable factors used are water recycling technology and LED lights, optimized for vertical farming. Techno Farm Keihanna recycles over 90% of the water used in cultivation, allowing for savings of 16,000 liters/day. (This is equal to more than 10 million 500ml water bottles saved every year). Spread’s unique LED lights allow for a reduction in energy consumption by 30% compared to conventional LED lights. Implemented at both Kameoka Plant and Techno Farm Keihanna.
According to the Spread team, the demand for vertically farmed vegetables among consumers and foodservice industry has been rising. Spread has been steadily increasing shipment volume since the start of operations at its Techno Farm Keihanna. Together with the utilization of an in-house logistics system, this has helped Spread to expand its presence among major Japanese retailers. At the moment, Spread supplies 3,600 stores across Japan.
Using the validated technology of the Techno Farm TM, Spread is pursuing further business opportunities through technological innovation and collaboration with stakeholders, both in
Japan and overseas. Spread aims to provide solutions for the global problems of climate change and food security, and to deliver the SDGs through the creation of a truly sustainable society.
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Spread Co. Inc.