Fresh, sustainable cucumbers all year round. These will be produced at Greenfood’s and foodtech start-up Agtira's new urban farming facility, operating in partnership with ICA Maxi Haninge, Sweden's largest ICA store. The new vertical cultivation method for vegetables is the first step in a joint effort towards more resource-efficient and sustainable food production. In total, at least ten cultivation facilities are to be established in strategic locations around Sweden.
Greenfood and Agtira had previously signed a framework agreement to establish urban cultivation facilities that will satisfy Swedes' increasing interest in locally produced and sustainable food. Now it is clear where the first city farm will be established - alongside ICA Maxi Haninge.
The first urban farm will produce enough cucumbers to satisfy ICA Maxi Haninge's entire needs, which would be about a third of the facility's capacity. Other cucumbers grown there will be sold via Greenfood's own distribution network, an agreement worth SEK 80 million over a ten-year period. The facility's total turnover is estimated at SEK 120 million.
“Through vertical farming and modern technology, we will, together, produce healthier and more sustainable food. Our first plant will give consumers increased access to freshly harvested, crunchy, good cucumbers that have been produced in a sustainable way without pesticides and with minimal water consumption,” says Magnus Nilsson, Managing Director of Ewerman, part of the food group Greenfood.
The advantages of Agtira's vertical cultivations are many; everything takes place on small urban areas that do not take up valuable agricultural land; transportation is minimized; water consumption is reduced by 95 percent; no pesticides are used, and there are no emissions into the environment.
"Waste is also greatly reduced, as the freshly harvested vegetables reach consumers immediately after being picked. A cucumber can, for example, be available for sale in grocery stores immediately after it has been harvested from the cucumber plant. It gives an unbeatably fresh product that tastes amazing, says Ted Stenshed, CEO of Greenfood Fresh Produce.
“Smart farming systems will play a central role in Sweden's future development of sustainably produced food, which is why it feels wonderful to present the very first city farm within the framework of our agreement with Greenfood,” Christer Edblad, Agtira’s former managing director, said.
For more information or interview
Lisa Isakson, Sustainability Manager Greenfood
+46 70-241 14 00