In the spring of 2023, Alfred Pedersen & Søn will become the first Danish company to invest in a local production of environmentally friendly lettuces. Their new facility for lettuce production will ensure that the climate footprint can be drastically reduced compared to vertical farming and outdoor production.
In March 2023, Alfred Pedersen & Søn, will be adding a completely new business area to its production. The grower will be launching a DKK 220 million investment in the production of ready-to-eat lettuces for Danes. In the words of CEO Mads Ulrik Pedersen, the ambition is to rethink the Danish lettuce. “Ready-to-eat” lettuces in environmentally friendly resealable bags will be available from the chiller all year round.
“We’ll be producing perhaps the world’s most environmentally friendly convenience lettuces at our facility in Bellinge. This in itself is a milestone and a target for us. At the same time, our unique production will provide an opportunity to combine environmental considerations with producing top quality products for Danes, and at a reasonable price all year round,” says Mads Ulrik Pedersen. “We’ve developed a brand new production facility, which is the first of its kind in Europe and the newest and most modern in existence. So we’ll be rethinking the Danish lettuce when it comes to the environmental footprint of production, and in terms of quality and taste.
In the new production facility, solar heat can be recirculated. The facility is heated exclusively by waste heat, while natural light replaces grow lighting. It also provides favourable conditions for uniform cultivation all year round. At the same time, production is semi-closed, so there is no access to the greenhouses for insects and therefore no need for pesticides. Last but not least, the automated production process means the lettuce is not in contact with human hands from seed to packaging. It can therefore be used unwashed, while the shelf life is significantly better, partly because the lettuces do not need chlorine rinsing.
“We know that the demand for high-quality convenience lettuces is increasing in Denmark. The lettuces also fit perfectly with our other products, and there is a high level of focus on general food safety. We’ll be able to offer consumers new varieties of crispy, tasty leaf lettuces without the use of pesticides, without soil bacteria and without chlorine rinsing. So the products are also very clean and safe. And in addition, they can replace imported lettuces from Italy, Spain and elsewhere that have been transported large distances through Europe before ending up in the supermarkets,” says Mads Ulrik Pedersen.
Alfred Pedersen & Søn will start its lettuce production on 1 March 2023, and the first products will be ready for harvesting around 1 April 2023.
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Alfred Pedersen & Søn