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Korean retailer accelerates smart farm investments

In response to the challenges posed by extreme weather conditions such as heatwaves, rainy seasons, and cold waves, South Korean retailer E-Mart is intensifying its focus on smart farming technologies. They aim to stabilize the fluctuating supply and demand for vegetables, which has been significantly impacted by these abnormal weather patterns. The escalation in vegetable and fruit prices, exemplified by the sharp increase in apple costs due to poor harvests, underscores the urgency of E-Mart's initiative.

E-Mart currently offers nine varieties of vegetables cultivated in smart farms, including romaine, batavia, and butterhead lettuces. These products have seen a remarkable sales increase, doubling over the past three months compared to the same timeframe the previous year. The smart farming approach is particularly beneficial for growing European lettuces, which are vulnerable to seasonal temperature fluctuations and extreme weather conditions. Through smart farms, E-Mart ensures the availability of high-quality lettuce year-round.

E-Mart has partnered with Nsing, an agtech company, to further enhance the freshness and quality of smart farm vegetables offered to customers. Together, they established 'Cube,' a modular smart farm adjacent to E-Mart's Fresh Center in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. Cube specializes in producing European lettuce varieties and boasts a production efficiency five times higher than traditional farming methods. This collaboration exemplifies E-Mart's commitment to providing customers with fresh, high-quality produce directly from the farm to the table.

Additionally, E-Mart's engagement with smart farming extends to supporting Nsing's achievement of environmental performance certification, underscoring the company's dedication to sustainable agricultural practices. Through forums and reports, E-Mart actively contributes to discussions on the future role of smart farms and retailers in promoting sustainable agriculture.


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