TOKYO—Toshiba Corporation (Tokyo: 6502) today announced that it has begun production of vegetables at the Toshiba Clean Room Farm Yokosuka, a plant factory in Yokosuka, Kanagawa prefecture. Shipment of the first crop is scheduled for the end of October.
Located in a formerly idle facility, Toshiba’s closed-type plant factory uses state-of-the-art technology to raise crops and operates under almost aseptic conditions*1. Toshiba aims for annual output of three million bags (one bag is equivalent to a head of lettuce) of leaf lettuce, baby leaf greens, spinach, mizuna and herbs per, and targets annual sales target of 300 million yen.
Plant factories grow vegetables in close to sterile conditions in almost germ-free cleanrooms. Minimizing the entry of germs and the damage that they can do considerably extends the freshness and shelf-life of vegetables, a major concern for retailers of cut vegetables and salads. Toshiba will promote sales to supermarkets, convenience stores, delicatessens and restaurants.
The factory is equipped with a wide range of technologies and know-how from across Toshiba Group, including fluorescent lighting with an output wavelength optimized for vegetable growth; air-conditioning systems that maintain constant temperature and moisture level; remote monitoring systems to track growth; and sterilization systems for packing materials. The production management system is based on that utilized for semiconductor device production.
In order to increase sales in this new business, Toshiba is also considering construction of a large-scale plant factory outside Japan, and the sale of equipment for plant factory applications within FY2014.
Toshiba is promoting a healthcare business throughout the world to support the development of a society where people can lead healthier and happier lives. Toshiba Group is also promoting “New Concept Innovation” in order to create new value by combining the Group’s wide-ranging technologies. The aim is to offer unique products and services and to develop new sales channels to further strengthen business operations.
*1: An environment where germs are found on vegetables at about 1/1000th the level typical for vegetables grown in soil.
Overview of Toshiba Clean Room Farm Yokosuka
Address: 1-201-1 Funakoshi-cho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa
Total floor area: Approximately 1,969 square meters
Vegetables cultivated: Lettuce, baby leaf spinach, mizuna, herbs
Production scale: 3 million bags a year (lettuce equivalent)
Toshiba Corporation, a Fortune Global 500 company, channels world-class capabilities in advanced electronic and electrical product and systems into five strategic business domains: Energy & Infrastructure, Community Solutions, Healthcare Systems & Services, Electronic Devices & Components, and Lifestyles Products & Services. Guided by the principles of The Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, “Committed to People, Committed to the Future”, Toshiba promotes global operations towards securing “Growth Through Creativity and Innovation”, and is contributing to the achievement of a world in which people everywhere live in safe, secure and comfortable society.
Founded in Tokyo in 1875, today’s Toshiba is at the heart of a global network of over 590 consolidated companies employing over 200,000 people worldwide, with annual sales surpassing 6.5 trillion yen (US$63 billion).
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