Ica Maxi Stenhagen has established a collaboration with Swegreen and has launched Uppsala's first in-store vertical farm. Their customers can buy locally grown and freshly harvested herbs and leafy greens all year round, regardless of seasons.
VerticalFarmDaily spoke to Swegreen's Chief Innovation Officer Sepehr Mousavi, and he mentions that the establishment of this farm is yet another step for Swegreen. "In this way, we can show our proof of concept and the strength for being able to scale up. Now, we have four large-scale units in four of Sweden's most populated regions; Stockholm (Solna), Gothenburg, Linköping, and now Uppsala. Our technology and innovation are solid and pave the way for us to claim a bigger market share in the Nordics and gives us the possibility of going into the international playgrounds soon."
By installing Swegreen's vertical farming platform, which is specially developed for supermarkets and retail stores, Ica Maxi Stenhagen takes another important step forward, enabling its customers to shop more sustainably.
"With our in-store farm, a supermarket can harvest up to 450 plants a day. The store will have the opportunity to produce its own daily fresh crops grown in a climate-smart way with unique technology," says Swegreen's CEO Pierre Mohlin.
Swegreen's system is based on hydroponic in a controlled environment, which means that plants grow on rockwool plugs with their roots spread in a nutrient-rich water solution instead of soil. In the farm, each plant receives what it needs to grow perfectly in an optimal condition and climate tailored to their need.
"Our in-store platform is actually the world's most productive one amongst our competitors and is uniquely based on the whole process of farming taking place in the store itself. No transport is needed and, since the system is fully controlled, no synthetic chemicals need to be sprayed on our plants for protection," says Pierre Mohlin.
"When I look at the farm here inside our store, it feels like the future is already here! At the same time, it sends a clear message, as we know that locally produced and sustainable fruit and vegetables are tremendously important for our customers. With our own farm in place, we fulfilled our customers’ wish and showed that we are an innovative store that provides a strong customer experience," says Ica Maxi Stenhagen's Deputy, CEO, Gabriel Purbe.
"Our expectations are obviously high, and I am glad that the farm has already become a subject of conversation and a trendy attraction amongst our customers and the people living in Uppsala," says Gabriel Purbe.